Arthur Jafa: Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death

Arthur Jafa: Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death

Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/Rome Arthur Jafa, Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death (still) (2016)

Details

2017-06-11 11:00:00
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. every Sat., Sun. until June 12
More Dates/Times
Free

Location Info:

Museum of Contemporary Art (The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA)
152 N. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA  90012
213-626-6222
“I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms,” Charles Ramsey told a Cleveland reporter after he rescued longtime hostage Amanda Berry. “Something is wrong here.” The clip of Ramsey saying this is the first thing you see in Arthur Jafa’s video collage Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death, now playing on a loop in a dark gallery at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary. For seven minutes, clips keep coming: Michael Jackson dancing for a handheld camera in the back of an SUV, footage of riots, of basketball games, of Barack Obama singing "Amazing Grace," of a crying toddler putting his hands against the wall because this is what police make men do. Kanye West’s gospel-inspired song "Ultralight Beam" serves as the soundtrack, though other voices often interrupt it. “I’m trying to keep my faith, but I’m looking for more,” West sings. “This is a god dream; This is everything.” Jafa’s video does embrace everything: rage, elation, pain, a legacy of oppression, gospel music, pop star royalty, presidential class, graphic police violence. All of these realities bleed together and coexist on the same intense, sensation-filled plane.

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