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Sunday, 3 May 2015

The best political act, the best faith act, is always an act, an action

The Observer has a major feature article on Theaster Gates, the artist that ArtReview likes to call “the poster boy for socially engaged art”. His Freedom of Assembly exhibition is at White Cube Bermondsey until 5 July 2015.

At 13, Gates was director of his church’s gospel youth choir and now plays with his own Zen-gospel band, the Black Monks of Mississippi. His joint masters was in religion, ceramics and city design.

'He paid his way through college cutting his friends’ hair. “I liked it because I always thought inside this little head under my hands is this vast possibility. With clippers and comb, there I went. That felt like the cultivation of a mindset, a skill set – and I wanted my girls and my guys to look good.”

He makes it sound almost a religious ritual.

“Well, yes. But better not to talk about that. There is always a part beyond what man owes man. It’s like: some decisions, most decisions I make, are not the right smart market decisions, but they are important to me.”'

His first show at White Cube was called My Labor Is My Protest. He says, 'In my body I felt for a long time that the best political act, the best faith act, is always an act, an action.'

My post about My Labor Is My Protest can be read by clicking here.


Theaster Gates and the Black Monks of Mississippi - And The Whole Yard Said Amen.

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