Arthur Jafa, Mickey Mouse was a Scorpio, 2017 (detail) / Collection MCA Chicago
Arthur Jafa: Works from the MCA Collection
Jun 1, 2024 – Mar 2, 2025
MCA Chicago
Chicago, USA

Across three decades, artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa has developed a singularly dynamic practice comprising films and videos, photographs, and sculptures. Through his multidisciplinary work, Jafa seeks to encompass what he describes as “the full complexity, specificity, beauty, and potentiality of what Black folks have made and continue to make out of the bleak existential circumstance we’ve attended to over the past several hundred years.” Utilizing found imagery, music, and artistic techniques such as montage and collage, he has constructed an extensive assemblage of Black expression, layered and arranged in ways that reveal the diverse and complex realities of Black being.

Arthur Jafa: Works from the MCA Collection surveys the artist’s output over roughly the last ten years through a selection of artworks held in the MCA’s collection, including his videos APEX (2013), Love is the Message, The Message is Death (2016), The White Album (2018), and Akingdoncomethas (2018). Accompanying the videos are a few key sculptural and photographic works that further underscore Jafa’s unique approach to visual culture and image making, in which the lines between popular and high culture blur and the personal collides with the political.

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    Void
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    “I didn’t see a major difference between a poem, a sculpture, a film, or a dance,” Joan Jonas has said. For more than five decades, Jonas’s multidisciplinary work has bridged and redefined boundaries between performance, video, drawing, sculpture, and installation. The most comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States, Joan Jonas: Good Night Good Morning traces the full breadth of her career (more…)

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