Published by Walther König, Köln. Foreword by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Madeleine Grynsztejn. Text by Michael Darling, Theaster Gates, Matthew Jesse Jackson, John Preus. Conversation with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev.
12 Ballads for Huguenot House chronicles a project by American installation artist Theaster Gates (born 1973), in which he united two disused buildings--one in Chicago and the other in Kassel, Germany--by dismantling parts of each to reuse in the rebuilding of the other. Huguenot House, in Kassel, was built in the early nineteenth century by migrant workers, as were so many of the houses in Gates’ own neighborhood in Chicago, and today is in a state of disrepair. Gates therefore proposed an architectural exchange, transporting materials from a dilapidated building in Chicago to renovate Huguenot House, while reusing materials from Huguenot House to reconstruct the Chicago building.
Published by White Cube. Edited by Honey Luard. Text by Bill Brown, Fred Moten, Jacqueline Terrassa.
Theaster Gates (born 1973) is an artist, curator and urban activist whose work aims to galvanize communities and act as a catalyst for social change. For My Labor Is My Protest, a fall 2012 show at London’s White Cube, Gates created a multi-faceted installation that investigated themes of race and history through sculpture, installation, performance and two-dimensional works exhibited both inside and outside of the gallery. In “Raising Goliath,” Gates used theatrical pulleys to suspend a classic red fire-truck from the ceiling of the gallery, counterbalancing it with a huge metal container, housing hundreds of leatherbound issues of African-American magazines such as Jet and Ebony. For “My Labor Is My Protest,” he parked a yellow fire truck at the entrance to the gallery and partially covered it with tar. Also included in the show and accompanying catalogue is documentation of The Johnson Library, a library on black American culture installed at the gallery.