Generously supported by a Terra Foundation of American Art grant, the event explores creative insights that, migrating from music to filmmaking and installation art, from high art to popular culture, from art galleries to digital platforms—and supported by hip-hop’s global reach as both a musical genre and a distinct visual culture—are producing the most consequential and global black visual aesthetics of our times. Music Video as Black Art: Claiming the B-Side understands this output as a contemporary expression of what, reflecting on the relationship between Romare Bearden’s collages and jazz, Toni Morrison described as the “liquidity” of the black arts, that is, conceiving and practicing one artform in terms of another: musical rhythms as visual conceits, photography as improvised music, filmmaking as music-making.

Featured artists: Bradford Young, Jenn Nkiru, Elissa Blount Moorhead, Shawn Peters, Stefani Saintonge, Kya Lou, in conversation with curator Ekow Eshun, and scholars Robert O’Meally, Mark Anthony Neal, Kara Keeling and Stefano Harney, as well as members of the Editorial and Advisory Boards of liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies

Panel 1—3:30-5:00 pm: “MVBA: Claiming the B-Side: The Project” with liquid blackness members Alessandra Raengo, Lauren McLeod Cramer, Daren Fowler, Jenny Gunn, John Roberts, djones.

Panel 2—5:30-7pm: “When Music History becomes Art History,” with Robert O’Meally, Craig Dongoski and Walton Muyumba

  • Robert O’Meally, “Time to Get Back to the Water: August Wilsons’s Black Liquidity”
  • Craig Dongoski, “Drawing Voices/Mental Radio”
  • Walton Muyumba, “As Serious as Your Life: An Improvisation of Form”


Gallery 4 gallery map

Upcoming Events

December 14 / 6:30pm
Contemporary Talks

Sam Gilliam Collector Panel


Join us for a conversation on Sam Gilliam and collecting with the collectors featured in the Sam Gilliam exhibition.

December 16 / 12:00pm
Special Event

3rd Annual Holiday Market


Atlanta Contemporary presents 27 local artists and craftspeople who create temporary storefronts in our museum galleries.

December 17 / 12:00pm
Contemporary Kids

Contemporary Kids


A free and interactive family-friendly program, Contemporary Kids introduces children to contemporary art and artists through approachable media and hands-on activities.

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