Arthur Jafa to Deliver Annual Plonsker Lecture in Contemporary Art

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Arthur Jafa will be the featured speaker at the Williams College Museum of Art’s annual Plonsker Family Lecture in Contemporary Art at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in the WCMA auditorium.

Jafa will discuss his dynamic practice comprising films, artifacts and happenings that reference and question the universal and specific articulations of Black being. Underscoring the many facets of Jafa’s practice is a recurring question: how can visual media, such as objects, static and moving images, transmit the equivalent “power, beauty and alienation” embedded within forms of Black music in U.S. culture?

Jafa’s films have garnered acclaim at the Los Angeles, New York, and Black Star Film Festivals, and his artwork is represented in celebrated collections worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Tate, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The High Museum Atlanta, The Dallas Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Stedelijk, Luma Foundation, The Perez Art Museum Miami, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, among others.

Jafa has recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions of his work at Luma Arles, France; Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland; OGR Torino, Italy; Bourse de Commerce–Pinault Collection, Paris; Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and the Louisiana Museum of Art, Humlebæk, Denmark. In 2019, he received the Golden Lion for the Best Participant of the 58th Venice Biennale “May You Live in Interesting Times.”

The Plonsker Family Lecture Series in Contemporary Art, established in 1994 by Madeleine Plonsker, Harvey Plonsker ’61 and their son, Ted Plonsker ’86, examines current issues in contemporary art. Past lecturers have included artists Lynda Benglis, Kenturah Davis, Sharon Hayes, Senga Nengudi, Clifford Owens, Trevor Paglen, Cara Romero, John Rubin, and Jessica Stockholder.

This program will be live-streamed via Zoom. Click here to register for the virtual program.

For more information, contact the museum at 413-597-2429 or visit

Press Contact: Rebecca Dravis, Communications Manager, (413) 597-3127; [email protected]