Whitney Screens:
Theaster Gates

Fri, July 10, 2020
7 pm

Online, via Vimeo

Engage with video art from the Museum's collection while you’re at home with Whitney Screens. This week's screening will present Theaster Gates's Do you hear me calling? Mama Mamama or What Is Black Power?

Created as part of a larger project addressing the Black Madonna, this video by Theaster Gates explores the power of her political and spiritual role in Black life, culture, and representation. The video begins with solo and chorus performances by the Black Monks, the Chicago-based group of musicians and singers with whom Gates collaborates. Gospel singing, spiritual gatherings, church testimonials, repeated refrains, and traditional African and contemporary music are layered with political speeches by historic Black leaders and archival images of Black American women in professional and family life in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s from the Johnson Publishing Company Archive. This fusion of music, performance, archival images, and sound articulates the powerful spiritual, political, and cultural underpinnings of Black American civic life.

This film has been modified for internet viewing. The live-stream will remain on Vimeo until Sunday, July 12 at 10 pm EDT.

This live-stream has ended.

Choreographer and Artistic Collaborator: Kyle Abraham
Videographer: Chris Strong
Post-production: Parallax Productions

Images from the Johnson Publishing Company Archive

Yaw Agyeman
Chicago Children's Choir
Heritage Signature Chorale
Kiara Lanier
Nicole Mitchell
Corinne Bailey Rae
Cherisse Scott
Tiara R. Thomas
The Black Monks

Special thanks to:
Linda Johnson Rice
Rebuild Foundation and Theaster Gates Studio for supporting footage taken in the Johnson Library at the Stony Island Arts Bank and other Dorchester Projects spaces.

This work is being jointly acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, with funds from the Film and Video Committee; and the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine, with funds from Bernard and Barbo Osher.

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