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Venice Biennale of Architecture 2023

Black Artist Retreat: Reflections on 10 Years of Convening (2023)—Theaster Gates's feature-length documentary—chronicles a decade of Gates's celebrated convening of Black artists. Started in 2013, the Black Artists Retreat (B.A.R) brings together artists from all over the world to create space for a community of Black artists to engage with each other outside of the institutional environment. The documentary film assembles footage and performances from past Retreats and and testimonials documenting the generative possibilities of gathering. Since its inception, B.A.R gatherings have taken many forms, occurring first in Chicago and later at the Park Avenue Armory New York and at his Serpentine Pavilion in London.

Presented as part of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, Gates’s documentary celebrates holding space, Black futures and the architecture of self-convening. The exhibition, The Laboratory of the Future, curated by Lesley Lokko, and organized by La Biennale di Venezia, includes eighty-nine participants, over half of whom are from Africa or the African Diaspora.