“Piraeus Artport II” presents the work of Arthur Jafa for the first time in Greece. One of the most distinguished U.S. artists, Jafa was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale of 2019 for his work Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death.
As a visual artist, cinematographer and theorist Arthur Jafa examines the history and experiences of African Americans. Set to Kanye West’s gospel-inspired hip-hop track, “Ultralight Beam,” Love Is The Message is a masterful convergence of found footage that traces African-American identity through a vast spectrum of imagery. In this pointed inclusion, Jafa as a Black American reveals both his vulnerability and his authority as an artist – what it means to contribute to the immense and complex terrain of Black representation. While Love Is The Message poignantly embodies the artist’s desire to create a cinema that “replicates the power, beauty and alienation of Black Music”, it is also a reminder that the collective multitude that defining Blackness is comprised of singular individuals, multiple identities and a myriad of differences.