The Serpentine’s 21st Pavilion, Black Chapel, has been conceived as a space for gathering, meditation and participation, with an emphasis on sacred music. Designed by Chicago-based artist, Theaster Gates, it has been realised with the architectural support of Adjaye Associates with Goldman Sachs supporting the annual project for the eighth consecutive year.
Gates draws inspiration from many of the architectural typologies that inform his practice, referencing a range of forms, from industrial kilns to traditional African huts. Drawn to the transcendental environment of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, Gates has also produced a series of new tar paintings especially for Black Chapel. And, a bronze bell, salvaged from Chicago’s former St. Laurence church, underscores the depletion of spaces for convening and spiritual communion in urban communities.
“The name Black Chapel is important because it reflects the invisible parts of my artistic practice. It acknowledges the role that sacred music and the sacred arts have had on my practice, and the collective quality of these emotional and communal initiatives. Black Chapel also suggests that in these times there could be a space where one could rest from the pressures of the day and spend time in quietude. I have always wanted to build spaces that consider the power of sound and music as a healing mechanism and emotive force that allows people to enter a space of deep reflection and deep participation.” – Theaster Gates
Black Chapel opens to the public on the 10th June, and runs until 16th October 2022. The Serpentine Pavilion 2022 is open every day from 10am to 6pm.