Rhode Island-based artist Tony Cokes’ Retro (Pop, Terror, Critique) is an ambitious new multichannel video installation that surveys the past 15 years of his work. Since the mid-1980s, Cokes has employed the medium of video to borrow and sample materials from high and low culture and reveal how race, gender and class are perceived through “representational regimes of image and sound.” Exhibited together for the first time, his ongoing “Pop Manifestoes” (1998–present) and “The Evil Series” (2001–present) re-contextualize theoretical texts, popular music and archival images into inter-textual animations that demarcate the use of sound and image by forms of mass entertainment and the critical responses that subsequently emerge as theoretical discourse. Cokes treats visual and textual sources as a readymade system of reference, upon which a culture of critique is further implicated in the endgame of capitalism. Retro (Pop, Terror, Critique) represents Cokes’ first major solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
Tony Cokes’ (b. 1956, Richmond, VA) video, sound and multi-media installations have appeared in exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; MACBA, Barcelona; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Centre Georges Pompidou and La Cinémathèque Française, Paris. He was a 2008-09 Resident Scholar/Artist-in-Residence at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.