Since the 1990s, the American artist Tony Cokes has been creating video works which critically examine the media representation of African American society and radically reject representative image cultures. His works incorporate texts of critical theory, political speeches, online journalism, social media and song lyrics which refer to current socio-political events. These sentiments are then presented with pop-cultural music tracks of various genres. Conjoining such disparate text snippets and audio material from different historical contexts, Cokes reveals the shifts in cultural manifestations of structural repression. Cokes develops audio-visual works which have been indelibly influenced by video art and our affectual-political understanding of image, text and sound.
In cooperation with the Kunstverein München, the Haus der Kunst is staging the first-ever institutional solo exhibition of works by Cokes in Germany. For the exhibition “Some Munich Moments: 1937–1972”, Tony Cokes is developing a new series of video works which explore the history of the Kunstverein München and the Haus der Kunst during the Nazi era. In a nod to the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Games of 1972, which was hosted by Munich and overshadowed by the tragic assassination of the Israeli Olympic team, Cokes reacts to the visual, acoustic and rhetorical guidance systems of both eras and compares them with contemporary phenomena. With interventions in public space, the exhibition aims to make Cokes’ work accessible to a broad audience even beyond the confines of the museum environment.
Artistic director: Maurin Dietrich
Curator: Elena Setzer
Artists: Tony Cokes
Exhibition: Haus der Kunst, Kunstverein München, Munich: 10 Jun. – 23 Oct. 2022
Stiftung Haus der Kunst München