In a 46-minute performance talk, Artist, Theaster Gates will present a new work that traces the creation of several artistic narratives that point to the rich and dynamic possibility of clay within his larger practice. The Need for Blackness suggests that there is a need for a more critical examination of the histories of black legacies within Ceramic traditions. Using collections of images that he has gathered from the Museum of the Art Institute, the University of Chicago and found images of clay, The Need For Blackness, will explore the complexities of clay and race within the contemporary art canon, craft traditions and the so called Minor Arts. Gates will be accompanied by Yaw Agyeman, principle vocalist for Gates’ performance ensemble, Black Monks of Mississippi. Thanks to the Chipstone Foundation for their generous support of this keynote presentation.

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