Kanye West to Release IMAX Film Set in James Turrell’s Roden Crater

The poster with an interior shot of Roden Crater.

Rapper and art enthusiast Kanye West is releasing a new film in collaboration with IMAX with footage of his Sunday Service performance series set in Roden Crater, the decades-in-the-making sculptural array being built within a dormant volcano by artist James Turrell.

“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,” a release issued by IMAX reads, with news of screenings in theaters starting October 25. “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.”

Fundraising activities for Roden Crater have been on the rise as Turrell continues work on a project first started when he spied the site near Flagstaff, Arizona, while flying over the desert in search of a volcano of his own. A recently established interdiscipinary partnership with Arizona State University—minted in part with help from Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and president of the artist’s Skystone Foundation—is part of ambitious efforts to raise at least $200 million to ramp up construction so as to open Roden Crater to the public in a projected five years. And after a visit to the site with Turrell, West—whose interests in art are said to also extend to Michael Heizer and Isamu Noguchi—donated $10 million to the project in January.

The poster for Jesus Is King features an interior shot of Roden Crater, which will feature a network of tunnels and chambers arranged in astrological alignments to serve as a sort of sculptural observatory for the sky.

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