Kevin Beasley in Art in America
Art in America
by Mike Pepi
An obsolete Akai x-1800SD reel-to-reel eight-track player stood in the corner of the back room at Casey Kaplan gallery. Nearby, a simple wooden cabinet held 52 reels, each containing around 40 hours of audiotape combining portions of record albums, personal recordings, audio books and music mixes. During the gallery’s opening hours, the reel-to-reel was rigged to play both sides of the tapes simultaneously, emitting often incoherent combinations. Created by Kevin Beasley, this installation—titled . . . for this moment this moment is yours . . . and dated 2013—was shown at the gallery as part of a three-artist exhibition earlier this year. In the far corner of the same space was one of Beasley’s sculptures, its purple hue and almost corporeal shape the result of a slow accumulation of resin, foam and cotton. Though the two works—one largely audio-based, the other a physical object—seem different in kind, both simultaneously emphasize and obscure their materials, suggesting the artist’s view of our experience of the world as a combination of the immediately perceived and the partially concealed.