Black Is King, a new visual album from 24-time Grammy winner and East Hamptonite Beyoncé, which premiered on July 31 on Disney+ In August 2019, features Guild Hall. The artist and dancers recorded part of Black is King in the Moran and Spiga Galleries of Guild Hall Museum during the exhibition Ugo Rondinone: Sunny Days.
Works by the renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone were on view and featured sun-themed sculpture and paintings, as well as a collaboration with area school children. Dressed in a gold-adorned dress and head piece, with costume-changes to a zebra print suit and shorts and a full body suit, Beyoncé performed the title “Already” in the Moran Gallery amidst Rondinone’s “sun sculptures”—gilded rings cast from vines and placed at alternating angles in the gallery. Rondinone uses the circular vine as a symbol of renewal because of its life cycle from growth to dormancy and rebirth to a fruitful state every year—reminiscent of the solar cycle. The theme of rebirth and renewal was reflected throughout Black Is King with golden rings referencing the “circle of life” from the story of The Lion King.
Brought to Guild Hall by local producer Holly Li, who served as the Locations Manager, this covert filming occurred last summer on August 21, 2019. The production crew took over the whole facility, with the exception of the John Drew Theater, which managed to usher in 700 children and families for two sold out magic shows without anyone suspecting that Beyoncé was being filmed in the galleries.