September 29, 2020 - ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts - Tony Cokes: If UR Reading This It's 2 Late, Vol. 3
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September 29, 2020

ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts

Tony Cokes, Evil.16 (Torture.Musik), 2009-2011. Courtesy Greene Naftali Gallery, New York, Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles, and Electronic Arts Intermix, New York.

Tony Cokes
If UR Reading This It's 2 Late, Vol. 3
October 3–December 20, 2020

ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts
Werfstraat 13 Rue du Chantier
1000 Brussels
Belgium
Hours: Friday–Sunday 11am–7pm

T +32 2 229 00 03
info@argosarts.org

www.argosarts.org
Instagram / Facebook

This fall ARGOS presents If UR Reading This It's 2 Late, Vol. 3, US-based artist Tony Cokes' first comprehensive exhibition in Belgium. Beyond presenting a range of representative videos made since the late 1980s, it also features two newly commissioned artworks.

If UR Reading This It's 2 Late, Vol. 3 highlights Cokes' ingenious subversion of practices and discourses related to pop and electronic music. It does so by focusing on the artist's works that connect popular culture, capital, and race. Named after a 2015 Drake mixtape, the exhibition foregrounds mixing as a key strategy in Cokes' practice. Much like mixtapes, the artist's videos are assemblages of existing tracks, alongside wide-ranging textual fragments, forging new meanings and insights through the unexpected merging of these elements.

Over the course of his career, Cokes has increasingly stripped-down film to its constitutive elements—image, text, sound—while engaging the complexities and ambiguities inherent to the medium. In his hands, film—one of capital's foremost mass media languages—is forcefully turned against itself. Through this tension, the artist emphasises its potential as a site of analysis and reflection while undermining its habitual claims to objectivity and truth.

Quoting a polyphony of voices, from Aretha Franklin to Morrissey, from Malcolm X to Louis Althusser, Cokes powerfully questions the notion of authorship. As such, he positions himself more as a "reader," or "editor" than as a traditional author, which allows him "to alter and reconstruct existing works to produce differential readings and effects."

In If UR Reading This It's 2 Late, Vol. 3, these "readings" and "effects" address a myriad of musical tropes—from the birth of minimal techno in Detroit to music used as a torture device in the US military. In doing this, the exhibition creates highly engaging flows of information and affect, while at the same time providing a contextual overview of one of the most vital filmmakers/remixers of today's cultural landscape.

Co-organised by Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art and Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University.

In order to open up the exhibition towards public space, all videos featured in If UR Reading This It's 2 Late, Vol. 3 are simultaneously shown in a newly opened window display at Rue des Commerçants 62, 1000 Brussels. Additionally, the exhibition consists of a special collaboration with the Brussels-based night club C12, in which the video Evil.80: Empathy? (2020), a reflection on the ongoing global Black Lives Matter protests, will be on view in the monumental Horta Hall in Brussels. This location functions as a public pathway between Brussels Central Station and the downtown area.

Opening: Saturday, October 3, 2020, 12–8pm. Please make a reservation online.

For more details on the public programme, featuring Black Speaks Back, C12, Maxime Jean-Baptiste, Steve Goodman, and Tony Cokes, please check the ARGOS website.

Publication: Tony Cokes: If UR Reading This It's 2 Late, Vol. 1–3

The exhibition is accompanied by the first monograph on Tony Cokes, featuring four critical pathways into the artist’s practice through a visual cartography of his work alongside a number of newly commissioned essays. Co-published between the three organising institutions and Goldsmiths Press.

ARGOS donates 50% of the sales price of the book to Belgian Network for Black Lives.

ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts is supported by Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest / Région de Bruxelles-Capitalle, Eidotech, Flanders State of the Art, Stad Brussel / Ville de Bruxelles, VGC Vlaamse Gemeenschapscomissie.

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