The Beat Goes On
SVA’s fall 2016 art programming launches with “The Beat Goes On,” an exhibition featuring work by Elia Alba, Kevin Beasley, Paul D. Miller, a.k.a., D.J. Spooky, and Tameka Norris, a.k.a. Meka Jean, and curated by visual artist Derrick Adams. For “The Beat Goes On,” the SVA Chelsea Gallery has been transformed into four distinct listening rooms, each presenting a solo show by one of the featured artists. Encompassing photography, sculpture, installation, performance and video works, each room takes music and the history of recorded and transmitted sound as its inspiration. On view August 20 – September 17, “The Beat Goes On” is the first exhibition mounted in the gallery’s newly renovated space. A reception with performances will take place Thursday, September 8, 6:00 – 8:00pm.
Adams’ aim in curating “The Beat Goes On” was to “celebrate the cross section of contemporary culture where visual arts meet and merge with music.” Adams adds “each artist acts as a predecessor in the development of the turntable and its [relationship] to the cultural hubs and the alternative languages it forms in relation to current technologies, counterculture happenings, experimentation, the avant¬-garde and the mainstream.” In this way, each artist explores the idea of the turntable as a facilitator of myth as well as sound.
Elia Alba’s listening room is set up as a homage to legendary DJ Larry Levan, the late “musical shaman” of the Paradise Garage disco in New York City. Renowned for fusing different genres of music together and garnering a diverse audience, Levan’s sessions were dubbed “Saturday Mass,” a name that reflects the importance of club going as a weekly ritual. The room recalls the church-like and spiritual experience of Levan’s events, with a dimly lit atmosphere, DJ setup, photographic works, sculptural masks, disco ball, checkered dance floor and video projection. In keeping with Levan’s spirit of inclusivity, visitors are encouraged to stay and dance. For more on Elia Alba, visit eliaalba.net.
"Listening Room,” by Kevin Beasley, is an ongoing sound-based project by the artist. In its iteration for “The Beat Goes On,” it features a series of presenters sharing music and/or sound recordings from their own personal collections. Beasley, a multimedia artist working in sculpture, performance, video and sound, will present various recordings as a singular, uninterrupted experience, via mixing, layering and sequencing audio from multiple sources. For more on Kevin Beasley, visit caseykaplangallery.com/cat/artists/Beasley.
"Voyager Remix," the listening room created by Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. D.J. Spooky, was inspired by the golden Voyager records, launched into space by NASA in 1977 as a possible communication with any extraterrestrial life. Miller’s interactive installation, incorporating stationed iPads and various audiovisual materials, reimagines the Voyager records as a limited-edition mixtape. For more information on Miller, visit djspooky.com.
Tameka Norris, a multimedia artist working in sculpture, painting, performance, video and sound, has made her listening room the headquarters for her alter-ego, the college-educated, street-savvy rap/pop star Meka Jean. Jean’s complex narrative is revealed through her "Ivy League Ratchet" EP, completed in 2016. The comfortable lounge space will feature video and sculpture that will give viewers an intimate look into the makings and ruminations of a rap star. For more information, visit mekajean.com.
A series of performances will accompany the exhibition including the following Thursday evening and Saturday sessions:
- Saturday, August 20, 4-6pm
- Tameka Norris, a.k.a. Meka Jean
- Saturday, August 27, 4-6pm
- DJ set by Sol Nova (sOlnOva) organized by Elia Alba
- Wednesday, September 7, 6-8pm
- Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky
- Thursday, September 8, 6-8pm
- Reception Performances (DJ set by Michael Paul Britto (Brittofied) organized by Elia Alba)
- Thursday, September 15, 7-9pm (RSVP required)
- Kevin Beasley
- Saturday, September 17, 4-6pm
- Closing Performances (DJ set by April Hunt organized by Elia Alba)
Derrick Adams is a multidisciplinary, New York-based artist working in performance, video, sound and 2D and 3D realms. His practice focuses on the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface, exploring self image and forward projection. His exhibition and performance highlights include “Greater New York,” MoMA PS1 (2005); “Open House: Working In Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Museum of Art (2004); “PERFORMA”(2005, 2013, 2015);“Radical Presence & The Shadows Took Shape,” Studio Museum in Harlem; and “The Channel,” Brooklyn Academy of Music. His work is in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Birmingham Museum of Art. His work can be seen at the Tilton Gallery, New York; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago; Gallerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris; and Vigo Gallery, London.