In Flux, Arthur Jafa & Myriam Ben Salah

First broadcast 12 days ago

In Flux, Arthur Jafa & Myriam Ben Salah

Myriam Ben Salah, curator and art critic, talks with artist Arthur Jafa who occupies a major place in today's art.
The themes addressed in this conversation are related to issues that run through Jafa's work: the mutability of Blackness versus Whiteness and the opportunity to express and put these notions into perspective in his work.
These themes are notably crystallized in "Love is the Message, The Message is Death", a video directed in 2016 by Arthur Jafa. A masterpiece of editing and precision, the 7-minute video is made up of footages found on the internet that evoke the pain, violence, resilience, but also the vitality and creativity of the black community in the United States. Some of the footage, including police violence against African-Americans, resonates with current events. In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, fourteen North American and European institutions, each owning an edition of the work, streamed it on their websites for an entire weekend in June 2020.
Thursday 02 Jul 2020
from 07 pm to 07:40 pm


Arthur Jafa was born 1960 in Tupelo, Mississippi (United States). He graduated from Howard University, Washington D.C in film and architecture (1983). He lives and works in Los Angeles.
As an artist, filmmaker and cinematographer, Arthur Jafa has developed a vibrant practice that explores blackness – both in a universal and local perspective – as a diverse and constantly changing identity and that questions its complex legacy in 21st century United States. He has developed a precise range of techniques to manipulate motion, static and moving images which provokes a visual shock specific to his work. It is for him an attempt to intimate Black people’s experience through cinema with, in his own words, the same power, beauty and alienation of black music.

He became widely known with the video work “Love is the Message, the Message is Death” (2016). He was already a key figure of the American cinematographic and musical scene, and worked with Spike Lee, Stanley Kubrick, Jay-Z or Beyoncé.

His work has garnered acclaim throughout the art scene from the beginning of his career with the Sundance Film Festival Cinematography Award for “Daughters of the Dust” in 1992. In 2015, he was also awarded Best Documentary, Black Star Film Festival for “Dreams are Colder than Death”. He most recently received in 2019 the Golden Lion Award, 58th Venice Biennale; the Prix International d’Art Contemporain, Prince Pierre Foundation.

His works are represented in some of the most famous collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Tate Modern (London), Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington D.C), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago and Los Angeles), the Fondation LVMH or the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Myriam Ben Salah is a Tunisian-French curator and writer based in Paris. She is currently the editor-at-large of Kaleidoscope Magazine. She also co-edited F.A.Q., a periodical image-only magazine with artist Maurizio Cattelan, as well as FEB MAG, the publication of the Underground Museum in Los Angeles. Her writings have appeared in numerous international art publications and catalogues including Artforum, Mousse, Numéro.
Myriam Ben Salah has been in charge of special projects and public programs at Palais de Tokyo from 2009 to 2016, focusing especially on performance art, moving image and publishing initiatives. In 2016 she was a curator-in-residence at Fahrenheit in Los Angeles. She was recently the guest curator of the 10th edition of the Abraaj Group Art Prize in Dubaï (2018) where she worked with winning artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan on a large scale commission.

Myriam Ben Salah’s recent projects encompass exhibitions, screening series and performances organized at prominent international institutions including Lazaar Foundation in Tunis, the ICA in London, Beirut Art Center, Kunsthall Stavanger, Kadist Foundation in Paris and San Francisco, Pejman Foundation in Tehran, DESTE Foundation in Athens.

She sits on the jury of Beirut Art Residency, SAM Art Project in Paris and the Onassis Foundation Residency in Athens. She was part of the curatorial committee selecting emerging artists for Artissima (Turin). In 2020, she co-curated the Hammer Museum Biennal « Made in LA » and is nominated Director of Renaissance Society in Chicago.

13 Sep

Monday11am - 7pm
Wednesday11am - 7pm
Thursday11am - 7pm
Friday11am - 7pm
Saturday11am - 7pm
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