By Matthew Duffield
As part of their autumn and winter program, MACBA present Tony Cokes: Music, Text, Politics, an exhibition featuring a large collection of work by the US artist. Based in Virginia, Cokes draws on influences from pop culture, art, technology and electronica, television and cinema, media and politics to create pieces with a distinctive visual style that has been coined ”post-Conceptualist.”
Taking the form of slides, animated text and installations with backgrounds that morph and mutate, Cokes doesn’t use a traditional creative process. Instead he sources text and images that are taken out of their original context, and then repositioned to create new meanings, often on bright, solid-color backgrounds. This process has more recently incorporated video images, and it’s this redefinition of found material that has earned the description post-Conceptualist – a kind of a visual remix might be another way of saying it.
Following on from this, his work also takes on a form of political and social commentary, which seeks to subvert established narratives. This exhibition, therefore, should provide an opportunity to check out different perspectives on the confused nature of reality that’s all around us: fake news, deep state, pandemics, and the challenging of stereotypes and identities. Tony Cokes: Music, Text, Politics runs until February 7, 2021.