Love is the Message, The Message is Death, © 2016 Arthur Jafa. Image courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome. Courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum.

26 June 2020: Artist Arthur Jafa’s critically acclaimed short film Love is the Message, The Message is Death will be streamed continually this weekend for 48 hours as 15 galleries team up to share the seminal work, for free.

Set to a soundtrack of Kanye West’s track, ‘Ultralight Beam’, the video montage appropriates archival images and video clips exploring the representation of Black people in the media, and the Civil Rights Movement. It also features actress Amandla Stenberg, who four minutes into the seven-minute film poses the question: ‘What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?’

Arthur Jafa’s seminal work ‘Love is the Message’ will break out of the gallery for 48 hours
Love is the Message, The Message is Death, © 2016 Arthur Jafa. Image courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome. Courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Love is the Message, The Message is Death made its debut at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise following the election of Donald Trump in 2016. It’s being reaired, and amplified by the artist and galleries, as the Black Lives Matter Movement continues its momentum in the States and Europe, and Trump hits the campaign trail in the build-up to the 2020 Presidential Election.

Among the galleries screening the film from today at 2pm EST is the Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Tate, Studio Museum in Harlem and Stedelijk Museum.

Arthur Jafa’s seminal work ‘Love is the Message’ will break out of the gallery for 48 hours
Love is the Message, The Message is Death, © 2016 Arthur Jafa. Image courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York / Rome. Courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Jafa has worked with the likes of Spike Lee, Beyonce, Jay-Z and Solange in his work. He will also take part in a digital roundtable discussion about Love is the Message, The Message is Death, chaired by Tina Campt, on sunhaus.us June 27 and 28 2020.

Watch here.

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