dOCUMENTA (13) defies categorization. The maelstrom of events currently taking place in Kassel, Germany, is dedicated to forms of imagination and artistic research that explore commitment, matter, things, embodiment, and active living in connection with, yet not subordinated to, theory. Even if we’re not sure what that means, it’s just the sort of place we’re likely to find Theaster Gates.
In collaboration with a team of workers from Chicago and Kassel, Gates is restoring and reactivating the historic Huguenot House in Kassel through an unorthodox exchange of salvage with a dilapidated Chicago building. The Huguenot House will be a meeting place and location for performance and social events. To inaugurate these events, Gates and The Black Monks of Mississippi, an ensemble of Chicago-based musicians, are performing 12 Ballads for the Huguenot House throughout the opening week of dOCUMENTA (13). The music, which chronicles the restoration process, evokes the rich jazz, blues, soul, and gospel traditions of the U.S.
Read a review of the performance in eyes-towards-the-dove blog
Read more about the restoration of Huguenot House
Theaster Gates (Loeb Fellow 2011) was born in 1973 in Chicago, where he still lives. He has had solo exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum (2011–12), MOCA, Los Angeles (2011–12), the Milwaukee Art Museum (2010), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2009). Gates has performed and exhibited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. (2012), the Whitney Biennial (2010), and the Pulitzer, Saint Louis (2010).