Discussing recent projects that attempt to instigate the creation of cultural communities by acting as catalysts for social engagement, Gates focuses on the physical and symbolic value of the materials he uses and the sources he draws on when creating his work. Gates is joined in conversation by Mark Godfrey, Curator of International Art, Tate Modern and Lisa Yun Lee, Director of the School of Art & Art History at University of Illinois at Chicago.
Theaster Gates has developed an expanded practice that includes space development, object making, performance and critical engagement with many publics. Gates has described his working method as “critique through collaboration” – often with architects, researchers and performers – to create works that stretch the idea of what we usually understand visual-based practices to be. Gates is also the founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation and currently Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, University of Chicago.