“Sometimes the creating that we do,” explains the American artist Theaster Gates, “is creating a platform that allows other creative people to pitch in.” That’s what Gates did with his experimental choir the Black Monks, a group he has directed since 2008. The choir combines two Gates passions, Eastern Buddhism and gospel music, to create a transcendent spiritual hybrid. Made in 2010, the work Breathing is a seven-minute digital color video that captures the ensemble during its early days. Since then, the Black Monks choir has beguiled audiences at exhibitions, museums, and rehabilitated venues around the world. —E.C.
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