September 22, 2017 - Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) - Speech/Acts
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September 22, 2017

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA)

Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Untitled (Citizen), 2015, 3-channel video. Courtesy of the artist and Anat Ebgi.

Speech/Acts
September 13–December 23, 2017

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA)
118 S. 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
USA

icaphila.org
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This fall, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) presents Speech/Acts, a group exhibition bringing together the work of a new generation of artists exploring how the social and cultural constructs of language have shaped black American experiences. Drawing from black experimental poetry, as well as popular texts produced for films, magazines, TV, and books, the works on view deconstruct the structural elements of language to rupture its intended purpose through collage, drawing, text-based installation, and video.

On view through December 23, 2017, Speech/Acts brings together recent work and new commissions by six artists: Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Steffani Jemison, Tony Lewis, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Martine Syms, who reflect upon experiences growing up through the social upheavals of the 1990s and draw on the current sociopolitical climate and the preceding Black Arts Movement in their work. A feature component of the exhibition is a reading room and dynamic series of programs that enable visitors to experience and explore the poetry that inspired Speech/Acts. The exhibition features texts by Claudia Rankine and Fred Moten; newly commissioned poetry and prose by Morgan Parker and Simone White; and a satellite outpost for The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII), founded by poet Claudia Rankine. The exhibition’s immersive and interactive environment will invite participation and response, challenge how social realities are manipulated and formed, and illuminate the slippages between speech and noise.

Speech/Acts is organized by Assistant Curator Meg Onli. A fully illustrated catalogue co-published with Futurepoem will accompany the exhibition, featuring reprints of seminal texts by Fred Moten and Harryette Mullen, newly commissioned poetry by Morgan Parker and Simone White, and an essay from the curator.

Speech/Acts reading group will meet over six Saturday afternoons this fall; we will discuss syllabus texts and explore what they illuminate and provoke. The group will meet in the TRII satellite outpost, installed in the first-floor galleries at ICA. All are welcome to join the reading group; the syllabus and schedule are listed here.
 

Related events

Race and Form: A Dialogue
October 10, 6–8pm, with Dorothy Wang, John Keene, Meg Onli, and Julia Bloch 
Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, Philadelphia PA 

Performance: Jibade-Khalil Huffman
October 18, 6:30–8pm 

Lecture: Claudia Rankine
November 8, 6:30–8pm 
Lightbox Film Center, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 

Conversation and workshop with Kameelah Janan Rasheed
December 3, 1–3pm 

Speech/Acts catalog launch: Philadelphia
December 13, 6:30–8pm, with Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Morgan Parker, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Simone White 

Speech/Acts catalog launch: New York
December 15, 7–9pm, with Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Morgan Parker, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Simone White 
Verso Books, 20 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 


Support for Speech/Acts has been provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Edna W. Andrade Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation, Nancy & Leonard Amoroso, Toby Devan Lewis, and Carolyn Oakley Lowe & Winston I. Lowe.

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