In a new film from our Extended Play digital series, artist Theaster Gates shares his fascination with collecting the collections of others, and the thinking behind his archive-based works.
Consisting of slide libraries, record collections, and even the inventory of an entire hardware store, Gates’ collections work to preserve the history and culture of Chicago’s South Side. They also serve as the conceptual and physical material for new paintings and sculptures.
“I’m having a lot of fun looking at these objects both as sculptural objects and as objects that have the potential to create new sculptural works.
It’s the thing, and it’s the thing that makes the thing.”