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Painting is dead. Long live painting!

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Arthur Jafa

akingdoncomethas

  • Year2018
  • MaterialVideo, color, sound; 105 Mins.
  • Dimensions
  • Year of acquisition2019
  • Inventory numberUAB /
  • On viewGround floor -1.2

More about the artwork

Of feature-film length, “akingdoncomethas” consists of a long sequence of recordings of preachers and gospel singers among their Black congregations. The material comes from different sources and decades. Arranged by Jafa into a large filmic collage, the recordings are a portrayal of a Black communality that is expressed in song and prayer. The film emphasizes their importance to African American culture, which has been formed by a long history of oppression and alienation. As Jafa describes it: “When you talk about Afro-American expressivity in the United States, typically you are talking about what I call immaterial expression. (…) music, dance, and oratorial practices. It is clearly overdetermined by the fact that most Afro-Americans are the sons and daughters of slaves. (…) You can sing, you can move, or do oratorical stuff on a chain gang, in a prison, on a plantation or a slave ship.”

Instead of rapid sequences of images, which characterize many of his videos, “akingdoncomethas” is composed of long, uncut scenes of sermons and singing, evoking a panorama of feelings and emotions: from contemplative to ecstatic, from elegiac to euphoric; an emotional movement between atonement and the hope of salvation. But the shots of Californian forest fires that are spliced between these scenes provide an ominous warning – as if salvation is anything but a given.

Arthur Jafaakingdoncomethas (2018)UAB /
Arthur Jafaakingdoncomethas (2018)UAB /
Arthur Jafaakingdoncomethas (2018)UAB /

Further collection artworks

Wolfgang TillmansBuchholz & Buchholz Installation 1993UAB 1224 1/60–60/60
Wolfgang Tillmans Buchholz & Buchholz Installation, 1993
Albert Oehlen Easter Nudes, 1996UAB 855
Albert Oehlen Easter Nudes, 1996
Andy Warhol Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975UAB 530
Andy Warhol Ladies and Gentlemen, 1975
Cy TwomblyRotalla, 1986/1990UAB 463
Cy Twombly Rotalla, 1986/1990
Jacqueline HumphriesAgainst Day, 2005UAB 1122
Jacqueline Humphries Against Day, 2005
David LaChapelle Recollections in America, XII: Beer Bottle with Baby and Terrier, 2006UAB 634 12 I 13
David LaChapelle Recollections in America, XII: Beer Bottle with Baby and Terrier, 2006