Published by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Edited by Lćrke Rydal Jřrgensen, Mathias Ussing Seeberg. Foreword by Poul Erik Třjner. Introduction by Mathias Ussing Seeberg. Text by Nahum Chandler, Jared Sexton, NourbeSe Philip. Conversations with Arthur Jafa, Jacob Holdt, Faith Icecold.
Though he has worked in film and music for decades, American video artist Arthur Jafa only garnered acclaim in the art world in 2016 for his video work Love is the Message, the Message is Death. Composed of found images and videos, his oeuvre revolves around Black American culture, the history of slavery, and ongoing structural and physical violence against Black Americans. As Jafa put it in his 2003 text “My Black Death”: “The central conundrum of black being (the double bind of our ontological existence) lies in the fact that common misery both defines and limits who we are. Such that our efforts to eliminate those forces which constrain also function to dissipate much which gives us our specificity, our uniqueness, our flavor by destroying the binds that define we will cease to be, but this is the good death (boa morte) to be embraced.”
This essential overview presents Jafa’s best-known works, such as Love is the Message, the Message is Death and its 2018 follow-up piece The White Album, alongside never-before-seen projects and essays by notable scholars.
Filmmaker and artist Arthur Jafa (born 1960) grew up in Mississippi, where his lifelong fascination with found imagery manifested in his childhood hobby of assembling binders of photographs culled from various sources. As a cinematographer and director of photography, Jafa has collaborated with Stanley Kubrick, Solange Knowles and Spike Lee, among many others. His work on Julie Dash’s 1991 film Daughters of the Dust won him the Best Cinematography award at Sundance. At the 2019 Venice Biennale, he was awarded the Golden Lion for The White Album. Jafa lives in Los Angeles.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited by Amira Gad, Joseph Constable. Text by John Akomfrah, Jean Baudrillard, Judith Butler, Tina Campt, Ernest Hardy, Dave Hickey, Fred Moten, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Yana Peel.
Arthur Jafa (born 1960) has worked as a cinematographer with such legendary directors as Stanley Kubrick and Spike Lee; he has also worked on music videos for well-known artists such as Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Solange Knowles. However, Los Angeles–based Jafa has recently emerged as a powerful artist in his own right. A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions presents Jafa's image-based work through the chopping and juxtaposition of found visual sequences covering subjects such as race, conflict, the cosmos and nature. These, in turn, are placed in conversation with texts by authors and artists of such range as Hilton Als, Jean Baudrillard, Amiri Baraka, Judith Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Fred Moten and Cecil Taylor. This mammoth tome stands as a document of an experienced filmmaker breaking through with a powerful, fully formed voice into the fine art world.
Published by Cahiers d'Art. Edited by Staffan Ahrenberg, Sam Keller, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Arthur Jafa, Anya Bondell. Text by Arthur Jafa, Saidiya Hartman.
The American artist Arthur Jafa curated the Cahiers d’Art Revue. Arthur Jafa invited artists Mark Leckey, Dana Hoey, Torkwase Dyson, Frida Orupabo and Rashaad Newsome, who shared in their conversations their artistic practice, race and digital culture. The issue also features excerpts from Arthur Jafa’s notebooks that he has been keeping since the 1990s, texts by Man Ray and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University Saidiya Hartman, as well as the short story "Milk of Paradise," by new wave science fiction author James Tiptree Jr.