London

Tony Cokes, Testament A: MF FKA K-P X KE RIP, 2019, HD video, color, sound, 35 minutes 22 seconds.

Tony Cokes, Testament A: MF FKA K-P X KE RIP, 2019, HD video, color, sound, 35 minutes 22 seconds.

Tony Cokes

Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art

It feels like a misrepresentation to discuss the work of Tony Cokes using complete sentences. Just as lyrics need music, dialogue delivery, and quotations context, so, too, would consideration of Cokes’s videos benefit from an element of fracture and fragment, a framework of incompleteness that this paragraph cannot hope to accommodate.

Cokes employs a consistent formal template: Short phrases, clipped from essays, speeches, or reportage, slide across color-block backgrounds to the sound of hip-hop, pop, rock, or throbbing techno. But stable methodology is not synonymous with simplicity—or with legibility. For this work trades in what philosopher Christoph Cox terms “affect modulation,” or what I would call a re-confusion of confused ideals that are often presented as logical.

As was evidenced by the many stand-alone monitors of “If UR Reading This It’s 2 Late: Vol. 1,” Cokes’s videos

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