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Learning Series Lecture: Working Every Minute—Rhythm, Labor, and Art

Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater

Individual, Dual, and Friend 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 uses a twentieth century cotton gin motor from Alabama to generate sound as if it were a musical instrument. In so doing, he creates a space for visual and aural contemplation around the rhythm of hard labor. How does the rhythmic drone of the cotton gin sync up with the clock? What does that tell us about the mechanization of the body through labor? By exploring Beasley’s project alongside the work of other artists concerned with machines, rhythm, and repetition—including Andy Warhol—this talk will examine Beasley’s interrogation of the relationship between labor and time.

One of the Whitney’s Joan Tisch Teaching Fellows, Ayanna Dozier is a PhD 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.

Monday, January 7
7:30–8:30 pm

Sunday, January 13 
12–1 pm

Saturday, February 2 
12–1 pm

Sunday, February 10
11 am–12 pm
1–2 pm

Individual, Dual, and Friend members are invited to this event. For Individual members, the invitation is for one and for Dual and Friend members, the invitation is for two.

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:
Ryan Kuo, Hateful Little Thing

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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.