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NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Urgent, political, and burningly topical – after two decades in film, Arthur Jafa steps onto the art scene. With highly charged video works he unpacks America’s history and explores the conditions for a contemporary African-American visual culture. For this exhibition, Jafa has invited along the photographer Ming Smith and the visual artist Frida Orupabo, and included material from Missylanyus’s Youtube channel, to build an experience in sound and image that is both politically reflective and visionary.

Arthur Jafa’s narratives go far back in American history, to the scars that the transatlantic slave trade left on its culture and people. “How do you make a Black cinema with the power, beauty and alienation of Black music?” is a mantra that, according to Jafa, has been part of the creative process the whole time.

Jafa’s work is created in the present with USA’s history as a backdrop. Through film, photography, and found material, he investigates events in African-American history. Based on his own in-depth knowledge and references to other artists, writers, and scholars, such as John Akomfrah, Toni Morrison, and Fred Moten, Jafa makes new and challenging interpretations of today’s society.

Monster (1988) is one of many self-portraits in the exhibition that shows Jafa’s interest in exploring how a white gaze dominates the production of photography and film. Does it actually matter whether a Black person is behind the camera when the camera itself functions as an instrument of the white gaze?

Gallery name: Moderna Museet

Address: Exercisplan 4, Stockholm

Opening hours: Tue, Fri 10:00 - 20:00, Wed-Thu 10:00 - 18:00, Sat-Sun 11:00 - 18:00

Open: 29.06.2019 - 08.09.2019