July 28 - August 1, 2021
2504 W 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057
In his videos and installations produced since the mid–1980s, and his work with the collective X-PRZ, Tony Cokes engages in cogent investigations of identity and opposition. His works question the construction of subjectivities (personal, cultural and historical), and how race, gender and class are perceived through what he terms the “representational regimes of image and sound,” as perpetuated by Hollywood, the media and popular culture. By re-framing and repositioning appropriated text, archival footage, and audio, Cokes brings renewed attention to often forgotten information and its relevance for our contemporary moment.
This recent work from Tony Cokes’ Evil Series was made during the current pandemic and in the wake of recent episodes of police brutality and systemic violence against Black people across the United States. The video animates a conversation between Tina Campt, Saidiya Hartman, and John Akomfrah, together with a soundtrack by UK producer and DJ Caspa. Employing color, font size and repetition as language, the piece concludes with the words “We have witnessed enough Black death for a lifetime…”.
Tony Cokes (b.1956 Richmond, VA, USA) lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he serves as Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. Recent solo exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, Rome (2021); CIRCA, London (2021); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona (2020); ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts, Brussels (2020); Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2020); BAK – basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands (2020); Luma Westbau, Zürich (2019); Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London (2019); The Shed, New York (2019); Greene Naftali, New York (2018); Kunsthal Bergen, Bergen, Norway (2018); the 10th Berlin Biennale, Berlin (2018); and REDCAT, Los Angeles (2012). His work has been shown in exhibitions around the world and is in the collections of Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kunsthallen, Copenhagen; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. His recent publications include If UR Reading This It’s 2 Late: Vol. 1-3 (Goldsmiths, 2019), The Black Banal (Greene Naftali, 2019), and The Vienna Guide (Saxpublishers, 2018).
Evil.80 Empathy?, 2020
HD video, color, sound
Running time: 00:02:43