Tate Liverpool presents Theaster Gates: Amalgam, a series of installations by American artist Theaster Gates (b. 1973). Amalgam, a word used to describe a blending of different elements, is reflective of Gates’s practice. Combining sculptures, film, dance and music the exhibition explores the complex and interweaving issues of race, territory, and inequality in the United States.
The word amalgam has also been used in the past as a derogatory term to refer to racial, ethnic and religious mixing. Theaster Gates: Amalgam takes as its point of departure the history of Malaga, a small island off the northeast state of Maine, USA. In the mid-nineteenth century, the island’s ethnically-mixed community was forcibly relocated to the mainland. Visitors to the exhibition can expect to see three-large scale works responding to the history of Malaga.
This is the first major exhibition in the UK of Theaster Gates. The artist was born in Chicago where he continues to live and work. Gates is best known for his architectural interventions and restoration projects, and his deep interest in how knowledge and history is created and interpreted. His work in South Side is reminiscent of the ongoing work in the Granby area of Liverpool, using art to transform places.