Written by: and

Published on:January 25, 2018

Film-maker and artist explores the radical alienation of Black life in the United States.

Arthur Jafa’s acclaimed exhibition A SERIES OF UTTERLY IMPROBABLE, YET EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS will open at Julia Stoschek Collection in Berlin on 10th February.

Initially developed with London’s Serpentine Gallery, where it was displayed in summer 2017, A SERIES OF UTTERLY IMPROBABLE, YET EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS refers to what Jafa identifies as the absence which haunts the contemporary Black American experience, challenging and re-claiming received narratives around Blackness in culture and society.

With reference points ranging from Fang sculpture to Mississippi juke joints, Duchamp’s urinal to jazz, Jafa’s work is profoundly visceral and often perfmative, as shown in the final night of the Serpentine exhibition, where Jafa gathered jazz luminaries Steve Coleman, Morgan Craft, Micah Gaugh, Melvin Gibbs, Kokayi Issa and Jason Moran to perform separately but simultaneously at secret ‘Black Sites’ around London.

The music was streamed into the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, where Okwui Okpokwasili performed, with the collaborative recording cut live and direct to disc by The Vinyl Factory Lathe. A recording of the event will be released on 12″ vinyl to co-incide with the opening of the Berlin show.

As in London, where companion piece Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death was exhibited separately at Store Studios in London and heralded by Time Out as “one of the most important works of art of the past decade,” the film will appear elsewhere in the city, although no details have yet been announced.

Find out more here and visit the exhibition at Julia Stoschek Collection, Leipziger Strasse 60, 10117 Berlin, Germany. Hours: Saturday–Sunday 12–6pm, from 10th February to 25th November, 2018

Image: Arthur Jafa, APEX (still), 2013. Video. Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown´s Enterprise, New York, Rome.