Artist Lecture: Tony Cokes

On Thursday, March 4 at 4pm, the Department of Kinetic Imaging and the ICA will host Tony Cokes for a virtual artist lecture and conversation with Amber Esseiva, Associate Curator, Institute for Contemporary Art.

Tony Cokes lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he serves as a Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. Recent solo exhibitions include CIRCA, London (2021); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona (2020); ARGOS center for audiovisual arts, Brussels (2020); Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2020); BAK – basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands (2020); Luma Westbau, Zürich (2019); Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London (2019); The Shed, New York (2019); Greene Naftali, New York (2018); Kunsthal Bergen, Bergen, Norway (2018); the 10th Berlin Biennale, Berlin (2018); and REDCAT, Los Angeles (2012).

His work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Centre Pompidou, Paris; FRAC Lorraine, Metz; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kunsthallen, Copenhagen; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Wexner Center for the Visual Arts, Columbus; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

In this presentation, Cokes will be discussing his new work, “Of Lies and Liars”. “Of Lies and Liars” was originally conceived as a five-part series of video artworks by Tony Cokes, conceived as sketches for a future longer work, and commissioned for The Shed’s “Up Close” digital commissioning program. This version will combine the original parts into a concise piece for the ICA and VCUarts. 

Cokes’s “Of Lies and Liars” includes alternate blue and red slides display quotations from journalist David Frum’s Atlantic article “This Is Trump’s Fault.” Cokes set Frum’s words, which indict the current administration’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, to music. The vignette-style videos are a return to Cokes’s ongoing exploration of evil in Western philosophical thought and its role in the structuring of society, this time in the context of the denials of scientific facts related to the pandemic.

“Of Lies and Liars” can be viewed below prior to the talk.