For more than three decades, Tony Cokes has explored the political ideologies of media and pop culture and its impact on society, becoming one of the most important, post-conceptual artists to emerge in recent times.
Grounded in the experience of the visual exploitation of African American communities in film, television, advertising, and music videos, Cokes has developed a unique language for video essays since the late 1990s that vehemently rejects representative imagery. The artist’s fast-moving audiovisual works are based on found text fragments and pop music, stemming from different times and contexts. Through the constant friction between the discursive and disparate cultural references, Cokes alters conventional forms of perception to trace historical continuities. The act of reading discourses on structural racism, capitalism, warfare, and gentrification becomes an interlaced, bodily and public experience.