Tony Cokes in conversation
October 29, 2021 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Please join us for an online presentation with American artist Tony Cokes.
Through a rigorous analysis of images and language, Tony Cokes dissects the often-obscured power dynamics at work in the cultural and political representation of histories of Blackness, class, and the war on terror.
This event is a collaboration between EMPAC and the iEAR Presents series with support from RPI’s ARTS department and School of Humanities, Arts and Social Science, with The Sanctuary for Independent Media as Community Co-sponsor.
The talk will be followed by a Q&A with the artist.
Cokes’ distinctive artworks and installations center on videos that foreground textual statements, often overlaid onto colorful monochromatic backgrounds with pop, punk, and electronic music soundtracks. Quoting language from across the political spectrum—from philosophical statements to news, art criticism, advertising, and song lyrics—Cokes mixes linguistic, visual, and sonic oppositions in a pared back approach that refuses the easy desire for a spectacular image. Shot through with wry humor and the aesthetics and upbeat music of popular culture, the videos project unstable meanings that deconstruct how we receive and read images.
Tony Cokes makes video, installation, print, sound, and other works that reframe appropriated texts to reflect upon capitalism, subjectivity, knowledge, and pleasure. Cokes deploys sound as a crucial, intertextual element, complicating minimal visuals. He has shown works internationally at venues including Tate Modern, and CCA Goldsmiths, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum, New York; ZKM, Karlsruhe; REDCAT, and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Schinkel Pavillion, Berlin; ICA, Philadelphia; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MMK Frankfurt; and La Cinémathèque Française. Cokes has screened works in festivals including the Berlin Biennale X; RuhrTriennale 2019, Essen; Rotterdam International Film Festival; Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid; and the Oberhausen Short Film Festival. He is a Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, Providence,RI. His work is represented by Greene Naftali, New York, Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles, and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.
Funding has been provided by the Electronic Film and Media area of the New York Council on the Arts.