10 June – 16 October 2022
This summer, Theaster Gates's multivenue London presentation 'The Question of Clay' which took place across Whitechapel Gallery, White Cube, Serpentine and the V&A will culminate in his design for the 21st Serpentine Pavilion, Black Chapel. Drawing inspiration from the great kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, the beehive kilns of the Western United States, San Pietro and the Roman tempiettos, and traditional African structures such as the Musgum mud huts of Cameroon and the Kasubi Tombs of Kampala, Uganda, Gates pays homage to British craft and manufacturing traditions while also exploring the architectural typologies that ground the artist's practice.
The circularity and volume of the Pavilion, realized with the support of Adjaye Associates, echo the sacred forms of Hungarian round churches and the ring shouts, voodoo circles and roda de capoeira witnessed in the sacred practices of the African diaspora. The Pavilion's roof closes around a central oculus emanating light, creating a sanctuary-like environment for reflection. Conceived as a platform for participation and live performance, with an emphasis on monastic music and public engagement, Black Chapel will continue the artist's ongoing engagement with 'the vessel' in his studio practice and with space-making through his celebrated urban regeneration projects.