Join us for an online conversation between artist Theaster Gates and Grammy Award‒winning musician Corinne Bailey Rae. The London-based singer appears as a key performer in "Do you hear me calling? Mama Mamama or What Is Black Power?" one of the featured works in the exhibition "Future Histories: Theaster Gates and Cauleen Smith" (Floor 7 through May 23). Gates will screen an excerpt from this piece during the program.
Through artworks, exhibitions, and ongoing initiatives, Gates has honored the Johnson Publishing Company (JPC, 1942–2019) and its pioneering role in defining and promoting Black culture and achievement with its aspirational lifestyle magazines Ebony and Jet, among other editorial initiatives. Gates’s "Do you hear me calling? Mama Mamama or What Is Black Power?" (2018) pays homage to motherhood and the power of women by exploring the idea of the Black Madonna through reworking three decades of images drawn from the JPC archives. Making its U.S. debut at SFMOMA, this two-channel video installation interweaves scenes of performances by choirs, musicians, and singers, including Bailey Rae and the artist’s ensemble The Black Monks.