. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Tony Cokes: Notes on Evil (and Others)

Posted by | Kelly M Shindler | Posted on | March 28, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 6:00 pm | Tony Cokes in person!

#3 (Tony Cokes, 2001). Courtesy the artist.

In his incisively witty videos and installations, Tony Cokes juxtaposes familiar archival footage, Google searches, and Hollywood imagery with text and popular music to critique the media’s often reductive representations of race and class. This evening’s screening surveys Cokes’ career and includes Black Celebration (1988), selections from the Pop Manifesto project (2000-04) and his on-going Evil series (2004- ), including the US premiere of Evil.20.b.om.h (2011). The Pop Manifestos connect the history of pop with a larger, nefarious matrix of capitalist production. The Evil videos continue the biting aims of the Pop Manifestos in a more fervently politicized manner, tackling post 9/11 political flash points—Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act, and various speeches of the Bush Administration—to explore the mediated rhetoric surrounding the US’s ongoing “war on terror.” 1988-2011, Tony Cokes, USA, multiple formats, ca. 75 mins plus discussion.

TONY COKES (b. 1956, Richmond, VA) is a post-conceptualist whose practice foregrounds social critique. His video, installation, and sound works recontextualize appropriated materials to reflect upon our production as subjects under capital. His recent projects often take the form of text animations with sound functioning as a constitutive, intertextual element, complicating the visual. Cokes’ works have appeared in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, NYC; ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia, and La Cinémathèque Française, Paris. His numerous media festival screenings include International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (1993, 2005), International Film Festival Rotterdam (2001 – 2006 and 2009 – 2011), and Rencontres Internationales Paris-Berlin-Madrid (2003 – 2010). Cokes’s projects have been supported by grants and fellowships from The Rockefeller Foundation, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and New York State Council on the Arts. In 2008-9, he was a Resident Scholar at The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, CA. Cokes is currently a Professor in Media Production, Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, Providence, RI.