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THEASTER GATES
PARIS GRENELLE 

 

"SMALL STUMBLE WITH MOUNTAIN", 2012 BLACK CONCRETE

THEASTER GATES' PRACTICE INCLUDES SCULPTURE, INSTALLATION, PERFORMANCE AND URBAN INTERVENTIONS THAT AIM TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN ART AND LIFE. GATES WORKS AS AN ARTIST, CURATOR, URBANIST AND FACILITATOR AND HIS PROJECTS ATTEMPT TO INSTIGATE THE CREATION OF CULTURAL COMMUNITIES BY ACTING AS CATALYSTS FOR SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT THAT LEADS TO POLITICAL AND SPATIAL CHANGE.

GATES HAS DESCRIBED HIS WORKING METHOD AS ‘CRITIQUE THROUGH COLLABORATION’ – OFTEN WITH ARCHITECTS, RESEARCHERS AND PERFORMERS – TO CREATE WORKS THAT STRETCH THE IDEA OF WHAT WE USUALLY UNDERSTAND VISUAL-BASED PRACTICES TO BE. FOR HIS EXHIBITION AT MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM EXHIBITION IN 2010, FOR EXAMPLE, GATES INVITED A 250 STRONG GOSPEL CHOIR INTO THE GALLERIES TO SING SONGS ADAPTED FROM THE INSCRIPTIONS ON POTS BY THE FAMOUS 19TH CENTURY SLAVE AND POTTER 'DAVE DRAKE'. FOR THE 2010 WHITNEY BIENNIAL, GATES TRANSFORMED THE WHITNEY’S SCULPTURE COURT WITH A SPARE, ARCHITECTURAL INSTALLATION THAT FUNCTIONED AS A COMMUNAL GATHERING SPACE FOR PERFORMANCES, SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT, AND CONTEMPLATION. FOR THE DURATION OF THE EXHIBITION GATES COLLABORATED WITH VARIOUS CREATIVE PRACTITIONERS ON A SERIES OF 'MONASTIC RESIDENCIES', HOLDING LIVE EVENTS SUCH AS THE SESSION BY GATES' MUSICAL ENSEMBLE, THE BLACK MONKS OF MISSISSIPPI. IN ANOTHER RECENT EXHIBITION AT SEATTLE ART MUSEUM, GATES TRANSFORMED THE GALLERY INTO AN AUDIO ARCHIVE ENTITLED 'THE LISTENING ROOM', INCORPORATING A HAND-BUILT DJ BOOTH AND A DJ WHO SPINNED SELECTIONS FROM THE NOW FORECLOSED DR WAX RECORD STORE IN CHICAGO, FORMERLY AN INFLUENTIAL HUB FOR 60S, 70S AND 80S MUSIC, IN PARTICULAR JAZZ, BLUES AND R&B.


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