Friday to Sunday – Arthur Jafa will stream his film Love is the Message, The Message is Death-Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Still from Arthur Jafa, Love is the Message, The Message is Death, 2016, video, 8min, 4s. Anonymous gift to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2018) (c) Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
From Friday 26 to Sunday 28 June, Arthur Jafa will stream his film Love is the Message, The Message is Death on the website of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and 12 other partners. Jafa is an artist, director and award-winning filmmaker. His work tackles and challenges representations of black culture. By streaming the film for 48 hours, Jafa strives to give as many people as possible a chance to see his film, invite them to talk about it, and place it within the current conversations surrounding race and social change.

Love is the Message, The Message is Death (2016) is a masterful video of found and self-shot footage that traces African-American identity through a vast spectrum of contemporary imagery. From photographs of civil rights leaders watermarked with “Getty Images” to helicopter views of the LA Riots to a wave of bodies dancing to “The Dougie”. While Love is the Message, The Message is Death poignantly embodies the artist’s desire to create a cinema that “replicates the power, beauty and alienation of Black Music,” it is also a reminder that the collective multitude defining Blackness is comprised of singular individuals, manifold identities and their unaccountable differences.


Arthur Jafa: “I am thrilled for the opportunity, finally, to have as many people as possible see Love is the Message, The Message is Death.”

Rein Wolfs, director of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: “The work of Arthur Jafa holds an unequalled place in the Stedelijk collection. Jafa’s unique multidisciplinary practice portrays the reality of our society through compelling images mirroring that same society. The Stedelijk is committed to fighting against racism and has resolved to significantly increase the number of artists of colour in our collection and programming.”

From Friday 26 June at 8 p.m. CEST until Sunday 28 June at 8 p.m. CEST Love is the Message, The Message is Death will be streamed on the website of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Dallas Museum of Art; Glenstone Museum; High Museum of Art in Atlanta; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; The Studio Museum in Harlem; Julia Stoschek Collection Berlin; Luma Arles; Luma Westbau; Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana – Pinault Collection; Smithsonian American Art Museum; and the Tate in London.

These museums have included the work in their collections and, in light of recent anti-racist demonstrations, are uniting to make sure that the film can be seen by as many people as possible. The streaming affirms the Stedelijk’s statement released  to stand against institutional racism and pursue a more vigorous policy to empower the role of artists and curators of color in the museum.

Additionally, two roundtable panel discussions convened by the artist will take place Saturday June 27 at 8 p.m. CEST and Sunday June 28 at 8 p.m. CEST on

Arthur Jafa (b. 1960, Tupelo, Mississippi) is an artist, filmmaker and cinematographer. Across three decades, Jafa has developed a dynamic practice comprising films, artifacts and happenings that reference and question the universal and specific articulations of black being.

Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.