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Reception and Talk: What We're Hearing—Art, Labor, and Rhythm

SAT, Feb 23, 2019
3:30–5 pm

Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater

Patron, Contemporaries, Contemporaries Patrons, Circle, Fellow, and Sponsor members

“I just can’t continue to move through society without asking questions about what I’m hearing, what is being said, the noise of the world.”

—Kevin Beasley

“People are working every minute. The machinery is always going. Even when you sleep.”

—Andy Warhol

In this talk, teaching fellow Ayanna Dozier will provide historical and critical context for the new exhibition Kevin Beasley: A view of a landscape. Beasley’s project centers on a cotton gin motor that was used on a farm in Alabama from 1940 to 1973. The artist transforms the machine into a sound generator, creating a space for visual and aural contemplation and raising a series of provocative questions. Music and, in particular, rhythm shape our attention, perspective, memory, and temporality. Beasley asks audiences to engage with the past and present through listening, combining an aesthetic experience with a meditation on a sinister history. Repetition and rhythm occur frequently in visual art: Andy Warhol’s serialized images—which relate to the technology of film—are just one example. By exploring Beasley’s work alongside that of Warhol and others, this talk will ultimately address how artists have responded to and interrogated the relationships between machines, work, and time. A wine reception will be available throughout the event.

One of the Whitney’s Joan Tisch Teaching Fellows, Ayanna Dozier is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History & Communication Studies with a graduate option in Women & Gender Studies at McGill University. Her writing on Black feminist philosophy, experimental cinema, comic books, and performance art can be found in Cléo Journal, Feminist Media Studies, and Liquid Blackness Journal. Dozier is also a critical studies fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program. 

This event has reached ticketing capacity.

The Susan and John Hess Family Theater is equipped with an induction loop and infrared assistive listening system. Accessible seating is available.

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A 30-second online art project:
LaTurbo Avedon, Morning Mirror / Evening Mirror

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All visitors aged 12 and older must show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for admission to the Whitney, in accordance with NYC requirements. Visitors aged 18 and older will also be asked to show photo ID. Face coverings are required for all visitors. Learn more about the Whitney’s safety guidelines.