Casey Kaplan

Gallery News

Kevin Beasley, I Want My Spot Back, 2012.Performance view, Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 26, 2012. Photo: Julieta Cervantes.

Kevin Beasley in Artforum

Artforum | Openings

KEVIN BEASLEY

January 2015

“During his two one-hour sets, Beasley mixed and slowed down just under forty a cappella tracks by deceased black male rappers from the early to mid-1990s, using more than ten subwoofers and loudspeakers to transform the music into a physical sensation that literally made the museum’s walls shake, creating a vibrational force as architectonic as it was somatic. Beasley’s acousmatic music—composed for live presentation using speakers—often functions in negativa, as the listener hears sounds without recognizing their originating sources. But while they may be disembodied, abstracted, even nameless, the rappers in I Want My Spot Back are here, for as long as their voices issue from Beasley’s speakers. Vocality in Beasley’s work is always mnemonic, recalling and addressing the departed, and redressing the proximity of black life to social death as the artist points to the potential for everyday culture to attend to loss.”