Tony Cokes: Evil.27 Selma
May 9, 2019 - June 16, 2019
The video work of Providence–based artist Tony Cokes examines the weight of visible evidence. In a visual deconstruction of animated text floating on one-color slides, the deadpan presentation Evil.27: Selma borrows text from the Selma, Alabama collective Our Literal Speed; “The American Civil Rights Movement took hold in a society moving from radio to television.” The slides shift; “social collectivity dependent on imagination” then transition to “everything is instantly visible.” We cannot turn our heads, the spectacles seen on television cannot be unseen. This piece speaks to the media’s power and how they disseminate and articulate images. It resonates deeply today in a “video or it didn’t happen” culture, where even moving images are precarious testimonies to be debated as either fact or fiction.
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 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. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthallen, Copenhagen; Wexner Center for the Visual Arts, Columbus; and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, among many others. Work courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI).