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For five weeks we will debut a different video by the seminal conceptual artist, Tony Cokes. The works range from 1990 to 2019 and display Cokes’ signature style of text floating on brightly colored backgrounds. Essayistic in nature, the videos critique capitalism, war for profit, and the black subjugated body vis-à-vis texts that proliferate in popular culture. In his deconstruction of the techniques of media and representation, Cokes examines visibility and power through his use of archival footage and quotations from sources as varied as Althusser, Public Enemy, Malcolm X, and Nine Inch Nails.
FADE TO BLACK is a layered chronology of stereotypical black representation in Hollywood. The Will and the Way Fragment 1 & 2, displayed over two weeks, tells the personal story of Paul Revere Williams, a Black architect from Los Angeles known for building celebrity homes as well as landmark buildings. Evil.16 (Torture.Musik), lifts its text from Moustafa Bayoumi’s writing on American military torture tactics through the use of popular American music. The last video in the exhibition, Evil.27: Selma, describes the difficulty of images and evidence in the struggle for emancipation.
Tony Cokes lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he serves as Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. Recent exhibitions include the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge; Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London; The Shed, New York; Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen; the 10th Berlin Biennale, Berlin; Hessel Museum, Annandale-on-Hudson; Whitechapel Gallery, London; ZKM, Karlsruhe; REDCAT, Los Angeles; SFMOMA, San Francisco; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Pera Museum, Istanbul; and the Louvre, Paris.
August 31 - September 4: FADE TO BLACK, 1990, 33:00
September 7 - 11: The Will and the Way, Fragment 1, 2019, 19:00
September 14 - 18: The Will and the Way, Fragment 2, 2019, 15:00
September 21 - 25: Evil.16 (Torture.Musik), 2009-2011, 16:27
September 28 - October 2: Evil 27: Selma, 2011, 9:00
All works courtesy of the artist, Greene Naftali, New York, Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles, and Electronic Arts Intermix, New York.
Tony Cokes Artist Lecture: September 28, 7pm
https://zoom.us/j/97974988866 Meeting ID: 979 7498 8866