Those who happened to catch Theaster Gates’ performance at the Houston Museum of African American Culture, presented in conjunction with his work in the 2010 CAMH show Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft, know it is more than art speak when he says music is often used to “emotionally activate many of Gates’ exhibitions into transcendent and participatory experiences.”
On Saturday, December 7, the Blaffer Art Museum, Project Row Houses, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts are presenting a live performance by Theaster Gates and the Black Monks of Mississippi, an experimental music ensemble of Chicago-based vocalists and musicians, at the El Dorado Ballroom. Gates, the man named Wall Street Journal’s 2012 Arts Innovator of the Year, describes the group on his web site:
They are an order of performers who harmonize the Eastern ideals of melodic restraint with the spirit of gospel in the Black Church and soul of the Blues genre deeply rooted in the American musical tradition. Uniting these diverse spiritual and religious practices, the Black Monks simultaneously achieve holiness and humanness, restraint and ecstasy.