The presentation celebrates major new acquisitions to SAAM’s media art collection. It pairs recently added video works by ADÁL, Raven Chacon, Mariam Ghani, Martine Gutierrez, Arthur Jafa, Erin Ellen Kelly, Christine Sun Kim, Liz Magic Laser, Simone Leigh, and Cauleen Smith with related photographs, sculptures, prints and immersive installations by the same creators. The featured artists draw on the vast cultural influence of American music. Whether turning to early spirituals, jazz and mid-century musicals, or movie soundtracks and hip-hop, each artist deeply considers the traditions, methods, and purpose of music in daily life. Connecting innovative forms, past and present, to the American experience, they emphasize that our national story has always been complex, multivocal, and set to music.
Musical Thinking: New Video Art and Sonic Strategies is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support has been provided by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the Smithsonian Accessibility Innovation Fund, Lucille and Richard Spagnuolo, and the SJ Weiler Fund.
Arthur Jafa (b. 1960, Tupelo, Mississippi) is an artist, filmmaker and cinematographer.