A Clay Sermon
by Theaster Gates, USA 2021, 17''

Schermo dell'Arte - Archivio Film     Presented at the 15° edition of Lo Schermo dell'arte, 2022

  A Clay Sermon, by African-American artist Theaster Gates (Chicago, 1973), reflects on the different meanings of clay, its material and spiritual legacies, from biblical narratives to its role in the history of colonialism and African communities. The film was shot during Gates' artistic residency at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Montana, alternating images of his handiwork with clay and musical performances, film fragments and dialogues.


In the video, Gates' love for ceramics is combined with his love of music: together with the members of his musical collective The Black Monks, the artist creates a soundtrack that brings together different musical genres, from the blues of the deep south of the United States, to gospel, to monastic chants.

A Clay Sermon is part of a larger project that was presented in the homonymous exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London between September 2021 and January 2022.
Theaster Gates
(Chicago, 1973, where he lives and works). His artistic practice, connected to a strong social commitment, focuses on the theory of space and the development of urban territories, on sculpture, ceramics and on the combination of religious elements and art, focusing on objects of African descent. His works have been exhibited in cultural institutions such as Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019), Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2018), Kunstmuseum, Basel (2018); National Gallery of Art, Washington (2017),  Art Gallery of Ontario (2016); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2016) and dOCUMENTA (13). In 2015 he won the Artes Mundi 6 award.

Selected Filmography
2015 Billy Sings Amazing Grace


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