PRINT October 2010


IN AN OFT-QUOTED SPEECH FROM 1969, Fred Hampton, deputy chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, proclaimed: “When I leave, you can remember I said, with the last words on my lips, that I am a revolutionary, and you are going to have to keep on saying that.” British artist Carey Young appears to take up this charge, but in a very different tenor, in her 2001 video I Am a Revolutionary. Here Young has hired a business-skills trainer who patiently coaches her to say the phrase convincingly. Clad in a business suit, the artist begins: “My name is Carey Young. I am a revolutionary.” With the trainer’s interventions and encouragement, she practices the phrase again and again—now softer, now louder, now slower, now faster. At one point in this rehearsal, Young cracks a nervous smile, shrugs, and confesses, “That was weird.”

Hampton’s words had force. Watch the clip on YouTube and hear the

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the discounted holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.