Love is the Message, the Message is Death

"I am thrilled for the opportunity, finally, to have as many people as possible see Love is the Message, The Message is Death"

Arthur Jafa


48H Live streaming - Friday, June 26, 8 pm GMT+1

Luma is a cultural centre invested in environmental modes of thinking and practicing. At a moment of great transformation, Luma is committed to presenting contemporary practices that reflect on society, identity, our relationships with others and with the world. Our work is motivated by human rights and ecology among others, and we recognize the important role institutions can play in challenging established traditions and changing perceptions. 

Three years ago, Luma proudly presented Arthur Jafa’s video Love is the Message, The Message is Deathfor the first time in France and in Switzerland. The display had a profound effect on audiences that visited the Grande Halle at the Parc des Ateliers in Arles and at Luma Westbau in Zurich. Jafa’s work presents a complex and dynamic narrative, drawing attention to the rich history of African-American culture as he samples through imagery that reflects the intensity of pain, violence and resilience as well as the vitality, strength and creativity of the African-American experience.

We are sharing this work with the public again, this time through streaming it alongside a dozen other international cultural institutions. In the face of huge challenges facing the world today and in the hope of disrupting the narrative of fear, hatred and discrimination we choose to embrace originality, distinction and influence of ideas, as a matter of urgency.

Two roundtable panel discussions convened by the artist will take place on Saturday, June 27th at 2pm EDT and Sunday, June 28th at 2pm EDT on www.sunhaus.us.

About Arthur Jafa

Arthur Jafa (b. 1960, Tupelo, Mississippi) is an artist, filmmaker and cinematographer. Across three decades, Jafa has developed a dynamic practice comprising films, artefacts and happenings that reference and question the universal and specific articulations of Black being. Underscoring the many facets of Jafa’s practice is a recurring question: how can visual media, such as objects, static and moving images, transmit the equivalent "power, beauty and alienation" embedded within forms of Black music in US culture?

Jafa’s films have garnered acclaim at the Los Angeles, New York and Black Star Film Festivals and his artwork is represented in celebrated collections worldwide including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Tate, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The High Museum Atlanta, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Stedelijk, LUMA Foundation, The Perez Art Museum Miami, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among many others.

Jafa has recent and forthcoming exhibitions of his work at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Fundação de Serralves, Porto; the 22nd Biennale of Sydney and the Louisiana Museum of Art, Denmark. In 2019, he received the Golden Lion for the Best Participant of the 58th Venice Biennale “May You Live in Interesting Times.”