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Arthur Jafa, Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death
Installation view of Arthur Jafa: Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death (2017)courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Arthur Jafa’s ‘Love Is The Message’ will be streamed free for 48 hours

The artist’s acclaimed short film is set to be broadcast by 15 museums around the world

Arthur Jafa’s critically acclaimed, seven-minute short film Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death is set to be streamed continuously by various museums across 48 hours, beginning this Friday (June 26), and available to watch for free.

The montage of archival images and video set to Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam”, which picks apart Black representation in the media, originally debuted at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in late 2016, in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.

Now – when the film’s images of civil rights marches, police brutality, and commemorations for victims of racial violence feel especially poignant – 15 museums that own editions of the video will make it freely available online for two days, in an effort led by Hirshhorn Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Tate, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Stedelijk Museum are among the other institutions participating in the project.

Arthur Jafa – who has also, in the past, worked with Beyoncé (“Formation”), Jay-Z (“4:44”), and Solange (“Cranes in the Sky”) – will additionally take part in roundtable discussions related to Love Is The Message via June 27 and 28.

In 2018’s Air Above Mountains, Unknown Pleasures, the artist also worked with video, alongside sculpture and photography, to harness “shock, horror, trauma, transcendence, and transgressive impulses in history”, including both Black and trans bodies. Revisit the show here, and in the gallery below.