Award-winning artist, director, and cinematographer Arthur Jafa discusses his 30-year career and how he uses a range of visual media and music to examine black life and culture in the United States. Renowned for a wide-ranging career, Jafa was the cinematographer for Julie Dash’s pioneering film Daughters of the Dust (1991), which was art-directed by Kerry James Marshall. He recently shot and edited the music video for "4:44," the title track from Jay-Z’s newest album. Jafa has said that he hopes to create cinema that “replicates the power, beauty, and alienation of Black Music.” His groundbreaking video, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death (2016) has toured museums internationally since it debuted in 2017. This work is a masterful, seven-minute meditation on African American life with sampled footage from films, the Internet, the news, and sporting events, set to the music of Kanye West’s gospel-inspired, hip-hop track "Ultralight Beam." Jafa’s additional film credits include work on Spike Lee’s Crooklyn (1994), Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999), and Ava DuVernay’s Selma (2014). He is a cofounder of TNEG, a production company that supports black independent film, and in 2016 he was director of photography for the music videos Don’t Touch My Hair and Cranes in the Sky by Solange.
Free; ticket required.
JAFA FILM SERIES Catch screenings of Daughters of the Dust and Crooklyn in this film series honoring Arthur Jafa.