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INSIDE JOB: THE ART OF CAREY YOUNG

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

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