featuring Ming Smith, Frida Orupabo and Missylanyus

Curated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Amira Gad. Presented in partnership with the Serpentine Galleries, London


Arthur Jafa, APEX, 2013

Video still:

Arthur Jafa, APEX, 2013, video still, Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown´s Enterprise, New York, Rome

Arthur Jafa, APEX
Arthur Jafa, APEX, 2013

Video still:

Arthur Jafa, APEX, 2013, video still, Courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown´s Enterprise, New York, Rome

Arthur Jafa, APEX
Ming Smith, Lady and Child


Ming Smith, Lady and Child (From the August Wilson Series), c. 1993, Courtesy of the artist and Steven Kasher Gallery New York

Ming Smith, Lady and Child


The JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION is excited to present the work of the acclaimed US filmmaker, cinematographer and artist Arthur Jafa in his first exhibition in Germany, featuring Ming Smith, Frida Orupabo, and Missylanyus. The exhibition was developed in partnership with Serpentine Galleries, London and curated by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Amira Gad.

Across three decades, Jafa has developed a dynamic, multidisciplinary practice ranging from films and installations to lecture-performances and happenings that tackle, challenge and question prevailing cultural assumptions about identity and race. Jafa's work is driven by a recurrent question: how might one identify and develop a specifically Black visual aesthetics equal to the 'power, beauty and alienation' of Black music in US culture?

The title of the exhibition ARTHUR JAFA: A SERIES OF UTTERLY IMPROBABLE, YET EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS relates to the sense of absence that Jafa observes as haunting Black life. The word 'rendition' refers to the artist's interpretation of the aesthetics associated with Black being, which are historically-inscribed in images, objects and artefacts. By re-performing these narratives in the present, Jafa imagines and constructs new possibilities for making them visible.

Jafa creates work that approximates the radical alienation of Black life in the West while seeking to make visible - or emancipate - the power embedded in modes of African expression. With reference points ranging from Fang sculpture to Mississippi juke joints, Duchamp's urinal to jazz, he is a filmmaker with a unique understanding of how to cut and juxtapose a sequence to draw out maximum visceral effect.

Explaining his favourite medium, Jafa has said: 'Film is one of the few things, particularly in the theatrical context, that takes up as much space as architecture but like music is fundamentally immaterial.'

Accompanying the exhibition, a catalogue will be published in spring 2018, among others with texts by John Akomfrah, Judith Butler, Jean Baudrillard, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Arthur Jafa and Fred Moten.

Logo Serpentine Galleries

Artist talk

On the occasion of Arthur Jafa’s exhibition at JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION, an artist talk with Arthur Jafa took place on 12 February 2018. Critic Jörg Heiser talked to Jafa about his work, Black visual aesthetics, Science Fiction, and resonances in specific local contexts such as Germany’s.
Location: JSC Berlin, Leipziger Straße 60 / entrance: Jerusalemer Straße, 10117 Berlin. In collaboration with the Institute for Art in Context at the University for the Arts, Berlin.

List of participating artists

Arthur Jafa, Frida Orupabo, Ming Smith, Missylanyus


The JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION is a private collection of contemporary international art with a focus on time-based media. Founded in 2007, the private collection has its own exhibition building in Düsseldorf, with a total of 3,000 sq.m. available for public presentations.

At present, the collection boasts over 750 works by around 250 primarily European and US artists. The various substantive aspects covered by the collection are presented and documented in regular temporary exhibitions and publications. The steadily growing collection concentrates conceptually above all on the moving image in art from the 1960s to the present day and straddles various disciplines: video, single and multiple projections of analog and digital film material, multimedia environments as well as computer and Internet- based installations, but also ephemeral art forms, such as performances.

To supplement the main Düsseldorf location, since 2 June 2016 a space is open to the public in Berlin. The exhibition area covers a full 2,500 sq.m. and is to be found in Berlin’s Mitte district at Leipziger Strasse 60 – in the building complex that formerly housed the Czech Cultural Center in East Germany.

Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge of Berlin architects has masterminded the conversion of the premises into an exhibition space. By opening the satellite in Berlin, JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION becomes the first private collection in Germany to have two publicly accessible locations at once - in Düsseldorf and Berlin.

Exhibition booklet: Language: English. Price: €4. Exhibition catalogue: Accompanying the exhibition, a catalogue is published with texts by (among others) John Akomfrah, Judith Butler, Jean Baudrillard, Arthur Jafa, Fred Moten and Hans Ulrich Obrist. Language: English. Price: €90.

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Information on events and exhibitions


+49 30 921 06 246 0
Leipziger Strasse 60
(Entrance: Jerusalemer Strasse)
10117 Berlin
General inquiries: info@jsc.berlin Inquiries on visiting and guided tours: besuch@jsc.berlin Head of Organization JSC BERLIN: Paola Malavassi: malavassi@jsc.berlin
Julia Stoschek Collection Düsseldorf