(G)hosting Richard Kennedy
Peres Projects is pleased to present (G)hosting, Richard Kennedy’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
The title of the exhibition plays on the term hosting, which has been taken up in the gay community on online forums and apps for dating, to indicate a space that’s safe for invitation (i.e. can you host), and ghosting – to drop out of a situation without warning or explanation. The overlapping and entangled actions of hosting and then ghosting, that fit together in spite of their oppositional meanings indicates Kennedy’s preoccupation with the epistemological force of language. The spaces opened up in language for seemingly contradictory affects to coexist.
For his first exhibition in Europe, Kennedy presents (G)hosting, an opera without an audience, which was developed over the course of his 2019 summer residency at Open Forum in Berlin. Considering opera through a language of African American experience – drawing on the oral histories told through spirituals and chain gang songs, Kennedy disrupts the tradition of Western Theatre, where the primary mode of engagement is through observation, in order to generate new participatory modes of viewership.
Kennedy’s multi-disciplinary practice is interested in relationships and navigating sexuality as it occurs at the intersection of class, race and gender. His professional background is in music and opera, through which he initially began communicating and elaborating these ideas. Throughout the process of creating costumes and set design for opera, Kennedy was led to painting, sculpture and video – drawing on a process of layering, obfuscation, and temporality (slowness) that contradicts his practice in live performance. For (G)hosting, through his experience in scenography, Kennedy delivers a translation, an iteration, of his previous work in the painting and sculpture for this exhibition.
Richard Kennedy (b. 1985, Long Beach, California) is an artist, experiential composer, and librettist originally from Middletown Ohio and currently living in Brooklyn, New York. 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. His debut solo gallery exhibition (G)hosting opens in September 2019 at Peres Projects in Berlin, and his Collapsed Operetta “A Touch of Elegance” will premiere at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University in November 2019. Kennedy has recently presented performance works at MoMA, The Shed, The Kitchen, The Studio Museum Harlem, BOFFO Performance Festival and Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.