Tony Cokes Black Celebration 1988

  • Not on view

These works [including Handsworth Songs (1986); Videogramme einer Revolution (Videograms of a Revolution) (1992); Letter to a Turtledove (2020)] bear witness to histories of conflict and insurrection, including the Watts uprising in Los Angeles (1965); the riots in Handsworth, England (1985); the Romanian Revolution (1989); and the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine (begun in 2014). Though made in disparate geographic locations and time periods, all these videos interweave amateur videography with archival news footage, still images, and rhythmic montage to convey the turmoil of civil unrest. In preserving the memories of those “who dared to record,” as Harun Farocki put it, these works invite viewers to consider the ways in which historic change is witnessed, relayed through media, and even shaped by media itself.

Gallery label from Signals: How Video Transformed the World, March 5–July 8, 2023
Standard-definition video (black and white, sound)
17:11 min.
Friends of Education and Committee on Media and Performance Funds
Object number
Ⓒ 2022 Tony Cokes
Media and Performance

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