ZKM FilmIsle
Arthur Jafa stands in front of a wall with a photograph of two young African-Americans with guns.
Retrospective Arthur Jafa
Wed, 21.07.2021, 7 pm CEST – Fri, 23.07.2021, 10 pm CEST
Isle Hub on the Forecourt
Language: English

ZKM is showing a three-day retrospective of the renowned video artist and cinematographer Arthur Jafa.

As someone who experienced racial segregation in the US South, much of Arthur Jafa's work is dedicated to the reality of life for African Americans. For example, his video essay »Love is the Message, the Message is Death« (2017), which shows a collage of found images and video clips set to the song »Ultralight Beam« by Kanye West, depicting the experiences of black Americans throughout history. The video essay »The White Album«, which deals with whiteness and racism, won Jafa the Golden Lion for best artist at the 2019 Venice Biennale. In addition to documentaries and films, Jafa's cinematographic work also includes music videos by the likes of JAY-Z and Solange Knowles.

His films and videos have won numerous awards (such as the Sundance Film Festival's Best Cinematography Award for »Daughters of the Dust« (1991)) and are exhibited in renowned international cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Serpentine Gallery. In 2021, Jafa was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The three-day retrospective on the FilmIsle (ZKM Forecourt) includes music videos, films and documentaries in English-language original sound.



Mittwoch, 21.07.2021


                          Begrüßung und Einführung 

»Love is the Message, the Message is Death« (2017 / 7:30min)

Video zu Kanye Wests Song Ultralight Beam

»collagierte Filmsequenzen der Lebenswirklichkeit von Afroamerikanern: Proteste und Polizeigewalt, Feiern, Popevents, Trance und Tanz sowie Freiheitsplädoyers« (Wikipedia)


»Daughters of the Dust« (1991 / 153min)

Arthur Jafa war Produzent und Kinematograph und realisierte den Film mit seiner Frau Julie Dash / Best Cinematography Award beim Sundance Film Festival 


Donnerstag, 22.07.2021

19:00                   Begrüßung und Einführung

JAY-Z, »4:44« (2017 / 8:12min)

Musikvideo / Regie Arthur Jafa (mit Malik Sayeed, Elissa Blount-Moorhead)

»Dreams Are Colder Than Death« (2014 / 52min)

Dokumentarfilm / Regie Arthur Jafa
20:15                   Pause

»akingdoncomethas« (98min / 2018)
Regie Arthur Jafa

»A montage of filmed sermons and gospel songs performed in black churches from the 1980s to the 2000s.« (Ubu)


Freitag, 23.07.2021

19:00                                  Begrüßung und Einführung

Kanye West feat. Travis Scott, »Wash Us in the Blood« (2020 / 4min)

Musikvideo / Regie Arthur Jafa


»Mrs Hillsonga« (2017 / 4:28min) 

Videoclip zu Musik von Jeff Mills / Regie Arthur Jafa

»Deshotten« (2009 / 9:37min)
Regie Arthur Jafa (mit Malik Sayeed)

»…first collaboration between Arthur Jafa and Malik Sayeed and is the first TNEG project. Laying in a hospital bed, a young man replays the moments leading up to a nighttime shootout in the streets of New York.« (Ubu)
19:30                                  »Slowly This« (1995 / 26min)
Regie Arthur Jafa
20:00                                  Pause

»Africa Unite: A Celebration of Bob Marley's 60th Birthday« (2008 / 1:32min)

Dokumentarfilm, Musik / Kinematographie Arthur Jafa
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe