|Kevin Beasley, ...for this moment, this moment is yours... (detail view), 2013|
February 27 – April 26, 2014
525 West 21st Street
New York, NY
Casey Kaplan is pleased to announce an exhibition of solo projects by Mateo López (b. 1978, Bogota), Harold Ancart (b. 1980, Brussels), and Kevin Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, Virginia).
Kevin Beasley’s work utilizes media including sculpture, photography, sound, and performance to navigate notions of origin and identity. Familiar objects, personal effects and sound elements from various sources are manipulated, distorted, and mixed, acts of removal from their original context that simultaneously investigate their histories. Through this process, they are broken into minutiae and partial forms and also expanded – gaining resonance and new meaning.
For the exhibition, Beasley has sourced approximately 4000 cassette tapes from family, friends, record stores and the Internet. Ranging from commercially sold audiobooks, popular music, independent labels, mixtapes, and home recordings, they have been cut and spliced together to create 52 reels, holding approximately 40 hours of sound and music each. These reels exist as mixes – combinations of various sounds by a number of authors that play constantly during the gallery’s opening hours, corresponding to a cycle of human consistency. Spanning intentions, genres, and decades, the resultant sound demonstrates a complex relationship with the history of the work’s materials. Their obsolescence at the same time triggers a series of familiarities and emotional connections.
Played through a reel-to-reel player, an incompatible device, both sides of each tape are heard at once. Interrupting even the most familiar of referents is a layered, alternate track (albeit played in reverse), an ambiguous and sometimes unintelligible sound that asserts itself as an unknown entity. The work hinges on the presence of a listener yet the exhibition itself represents only a partial span of its length with the same sound never played twice. Over the course of the exhibition, performances by Beasley and invited guests will occur in the space, with a live recording made on the reels. Replacing the previous recordings, these newly introduced elements contribute to the ever-evolving nature of the work and its experience; it is growing and deteriorating at the same time.
Kevin Beasley is currently an artist in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He will participate in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, curated by Anthony Elms, Michelle Grabner and Stuart Comer, opening March 7. His work was included the 2013 Queens International as well as group exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, 2013, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, 2012. His work “I Want My Spot Back” was performed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2012 as part of Ralph Lemon’s “Some Sweet Day.”