Theaster Gates
Yamaguchi Landscape and the Dinner Table
Tea Shack, Collard Greens and the Preservation of Soul
The Tea Shack structure is a conceptualized abstraction of Yamaguchi's living quarters. Inspired by his mentor’s cross-cultural references of Japan and the American South, Theaster Gates’ Tea Shack is the hybrid offspring of two culturally and architecturally unique structures: a 16th century edifice built by Sen no Rikyu in Japan for the ritual of the tea ceremony, and a Southern rectangular house known as the shotgun shack which became a symbol of poverty after the Civil War. The Tea Shack’s realization marries architecture, space and memory, producing a sacred place available for performance and conversation.

The Tea Shack has given Gates an opportunity to explore how architecture assists in the development of myths, sacred space and notions of insiders and outsiders. It is his desire to create a permanent Tea Shack in the future.

The images are taken by Sarah Pooley and a documentary about the construction, deconstruction and performances is underway.