themuseumofmodernart

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Since the late 1980s, artist Tony Cokes has produced a prolific body of videos that engage with critical theory, cultural studies, American politics, and popular culture. Typically set against monochrome fields of blue, red, or yellow, statements by public figures are reframed and paired with pop songs, hip-hop, and dance music to dress down forms of power that have long structured race, class, and gender. In 2019, Cokes developed an installation for the private Los Angeles residence of mid-century architect Paul Revere Williams, the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects. Considering what it means to occupy a space—and specifically what kinds of spaces some people have been allowed to occupy—Cokes developed a poignant reflection on Williams’s life and legacy, and its broader entanglement with the aspirations and shortcomings of modernism in its heyday. The artist also contrasts Williams’s biography with the personal history of Aretha Franklin, who passed away on the same day Cokes made his first site visit to the Williams home. Dive into Cokes’s work for this month’s Hyundai Card Video Views at moma.org/magazine (🔗 in bio) 📺 Watch “The Will & The Way...Fragment 1” streams January 11–17 “The Will & The Way... Fragment 2” streams January 18–24. 📖 Read Learn how the video came together in an interview between @stuartcomer and Cokes and an introduction to the artist’s work by Comer  — Tony Cokes. “The Will & The Way...Fragment 1” (excerpt). 2019. Committee on Media and Performance Funds. Ⓒ 2022 Tony Cokes


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12 January 2022

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