STREET PROPHECY Richard Kennedy
NO FREE SWEAT, EBONIZED EPISTEMOLOGY
BLACK UNICORN / LACK UNIFORM
Peres Projects is proud to present STREET PROPHECY, Richard Kennedy’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. The group of new soft sculptures, paintings and busts depict an opera deconstructed into its various parts. Hope, longing, tragedy, comedy, opulence and destruction each play a role, whether formally or through the texts which emerge from the heavily painted canvases and textiles.
The term “opera”, borrowed from the Italian word for “work”, implies a Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork) incorporating diverse mediums, collaboration, virtuosity, and drama. Kennedy appropriates and redefines both the multi-media modes of production as well as the dramatic tropes of the “highest art form” of the European tradition to embody a black queer experience. The works in the exhibition hover between abstraction and figuration, self-portraiture and lyrical verse, the historic and the exuberant. We are left with an intangible connection to the experience of excellence within otherness.
Richard Kennedy (b. 1985, Long Beach, California) is an artist, experiential composer, and librettist originally from Middletown Ohio and currently living in Berlin, DE. He received his MFA from the Milton Avery Institute at Bard College. Kennedy is a 2019 MacDowell Colony Fellow and recently completed residencies at Open Forum Berlin and Mana Contemporary. In 2019, Kennedy presented a solo exhibition at Peres Projects in Berlin, and his Collapsed Operetta “A Touch of Elegance” premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University curated by Amber Esseiva. In 2020-2021, Kennedy will perform his opera Black Rage at the Zabludowicz Collection, and participate in a group exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, curated by Marie-Ann Yemsi. He has recently presented solo performance pieces at The Studio Museum Harlem, MoMA, The Shed, The Kitchen, BOFFO Performance Festival and Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.