Arthur Jafa: Love is the Message, The Message is D...

Arthur Jafa: Love is the Message, The Message is D...

Presented by Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Artist, cinematographer, and filmmaker Arthur Jafa (b. 1960, Tupelo, Mississippi) frequently states that he hopes to create cinema that “replicates the power, beauty, and alienation of black music.” Jafa’s Love is the Message, The Message is Death is a single-channel video installation set to Kanye West’s stirring, gospel-inspired song “Ultralight Beam.” It comprises original and found footage from concerts, marches, music videos, news reports, police cameras, YouTube videos, as well as scenes from his well-known 2014 documentary Dreams are Colder than Death, which lyrically reflects on Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and contemporary black experiences. Acutely aware and critical of black representation in mainstream media, Jafa incorporates a wide range of imagery, collaging and interspersing clips of figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, James Brown, Beyoncé, and Freddie Gray, as well as hip-hop performances, sports games with predominantly black athletes, and violent police arrests of black men and women. Amplified by the musical track, Love is the Message, The Message is Death presents glimpses of the joys and traumas of black life—nuanced, complex, and multifaceted—in the United States, which the artist sees as both beautiful and painfully fraught.

Support for Arthur Jafa: Love is the Message, The Message is Death is generously provided by Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté and Bridgitt and Bruce Evans.

Installation View, Love is the Message, The Message is Death, Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York, 2016. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York/Rome. c Arthur Jafa

Admission Info

ICA members: FREE
General Admission: $15
Seniors (60+): $13
Students with ID: $10
Youth 17 and under: FREE

Admission is FREE for all every Thursday from 5 to 9 PM during ICA Free Thursday Nights.

Additional time info:

Tuesday + Wednesday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Thursday + Friday*: 10 AM – 9 PM
*First Friday of every month: 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturday + Sunday: 10 AM – 5 PM

Closed Mondays, except on the following national holidays, when admission is FREE for all: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.

Dates & Times

2018/06/27 - 2018/09/30

Location Info

The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA 02210