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Blues for Smoke

Feb 7–Apr 28, 2013

Blues for Smoke on MOCAtv

Blues for Smoke is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, where it was exhibited at the Geffen Contemporary from October 21 to January 7, 2013. In this selection of videos produced for MOCAtv, prominent cultural producers answer the question, “What is the blues?” 

?uestLove

Ahmir “?uestLove” Thompson is an American drummer, DJ, music journalist, and record producer, best known as the drummer and joint frontman (with Black Thought) for the The Roots. In this interview, ?uestLove discusses the global influence of the blues.

Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins is an American spoken word artist, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, radio DJ, activist, and former singer-songwriter of Black Flag. In this interview, Rollins personifies the blues by focusing on the heartbeat and life-rhythm of the form.

Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez is an American poet and activist most often associated with the Black Arts Movement. In this interview, Sanchez reveals a connection between the contemporary relevance of the blues and that of the Japanese Haiku.

Iyanla Vanzant

Iyanla Vanzant is an American inspirational speaker, New Thought spiritual teacher, author, and television personality. In this interview, Vanzant identifies uncanny relationships between the blues and humanity.

Dr. Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is a prominent and provocative intellectual, a Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. In this interview, Dr. West argues that the blues is not so much about triumph as it is about resistance and survival.