Tony Cokes. Fragments, or just Moments
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About Tony Cokes. Fragments, or just Moments%
“Things aren't always as they seem, aren't always as they appear.” Tony Cokes
The exhibition “Tony Cokes. Fragments, or just Moments” brings together selected audiovisual works by Tony Cokes from over three decades. His dynamic essay-films often exclude representational imagery and combine found text fragments with pop music drawn from diverse cultural sources and periods. Situated in the LSK-Galerie, the former air-raid shelter of the museum, “Fragments, or just Moments” displays Cokes’ ongoing preoccupation with history, time and place. The exhibition sketches a fragmented chronology of the 20th and 21st centuries, moving from the mid-1930s to the present. The timeline does not unfold as a precise linear sequence but rather demonstrates the interconnectedness, reverberations and shifts of socio-political realities from different times.
Since the 1990s, Tony Cokes’ work explored the political ideologies of media and pop culture and its impact on society. Grounded in the experience of the visual exploitation of African American communities in film, television, advertising, and music videos, Cokes has developed a unique language for video essays that vehemently rejects representational imagery. His fast-moving audiovisual works are based on found text fragments and pop music, stemming from different times and contexts. Through the constant friction between the discursive and disparate cultural references, Cokes alters conventional forms of perception. The act of reading discourses on structural racism, capitalism, warfare, and gentrification becomes an interlaced, bodily and public experience.
“Fragments, or just Moments” marks the first institutional solo exhibition of U.S.-American artist Tony Cokes in Germany and is a joint project of Haus der Kunst and Kunstverein München.