American artist, curator and activist Theaster Gates originally trained as a ceramicist and urban planner. Gates was raised in rural Mississippi and Illinois and, as a child, joined the New Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church choir in Chicago, soon becoming its director at age 14. 'The Black Monks of Mississippi' is an ensemble that Gates writes for, performs in and directs whose improvised, collaged music incorporates such diverse traditions as Gospel, Blues, Buddhism and Zen chants. Gates' performances are highly animated since, for him, sound only works in conjunction with movement of the body. The performance is in conjunction with Gates' solo exhibition 'My Labor Is My Protest' at White Cube Bermondsey (7 September – 11 November 2012).