Visual Culture

Kanye West will release an IMAX film shot at James Turrell’s Roden Crater.

Wallace Ludel
Sep 30, 2019 3:43PM, via ARTnews

Kanye West performing at Coachella earlier this year. Photo by Timothy Norris/Getty Images for Coachella.

Kanye West is collaborating with IMAX to release a film made within Light and Space artist James Turrell’s decades-in-the-making project Roden Crater. The film, titled Jesus is King, follows West and his team of musicians as they conduct one of the rapper’s “Sunday Service” performances at the crater. The film is set to be released on October 25th.

West paid a visit to Turrell’s Roden Crater, the artist’s magnum opus located in a volcanic cinder cone in the desert of northern Arizona, in December of 2018. After his visit, West tweeted: “Went to visit the James Turrell crater two days ago. This is life changing. We all will live in Turrell spaces.” A month after the tweet, the rapper donated $10 million to the project. Turrell began work on Roden Crater in the 1970s and, after decades of anticipation, it’s slated to open in the coming years.

In an IMAX press release cited by ARTnews, the company offered details of the film:

Filmed in the summer of 2019, Jesus Is King brings Kanye West’s famed Sunday Service to life in the Roden Crater, visionary artist James Turrell’s never-before-seen installation in Arizona’s Painted Desert. [. . .] This one-of-a-kind experience features songs arranged by West in the gospel tradition along with music from his new album Jesus Is King—all presented in the immersive sound and stunning clarity of IMAX.

A poster for the film has been released, and it boasts a photograph of the interior of Roden Crater.

Wallace Ludel