Tony Cokes, Evil.80.Empathy?, 2020
This recent work from Tony Cokes’s Evil Series was made during the pandemic and in the wake of much police brutality and systemic violence against Black people across the United States at the same time. Employing the familiar technique of marrying text to sound, set against vivid backgrounds, undulating between primary red and blue, the video animates a conversation between Tina Campt, Saidiya Hartman, and John Akomfrah. The conversation was first staged by Lisson Gallery as part of an online event during the Covid-19 pandemic Lockdowns whereby the writers and artist discussed issues of anti-Blackness and white supremacy as well as complicity in racist social structures and the idea that implication powerfully mobilized the wider protest movement at the time. Edited extracts of this conversation are paired with a soundtrack by UK producer and DJ Caspa, whose track has an additional vocal element, further complicating the narrative of the text. Employing colour, font size and repetition of key parts of the text, along with the rhythmic drums and the swelling, aggressive electronica bassline, the piece concludes with the repeated words ‘We have witnessed enough Black death for a lifetime...’.
|Medium||HD video, colour, sound|
|Duration||2 minutes 43 seconds|