On this physique of labor, Kennedy examines how opera travels by means of time and house, and the way it engages, influences, and is in flip influenced by totally different cultures. Whereas opera is a part of the Western classical music custom, Kennedy’s work usually considers the language of European excessive artwork by means of a lens of African American expertise, drawing on vernacular efficiency traditions in an effort to interrupt the establishment of Western theater. By means of composition the artist questions how unintended or inadvertent encounters can result in discovery, notably when conventionally unrelated artwork types meet. As properly, Kennedy’s strategy to those types considers the methods through which such a crossing of cultural and geographic boundaries has led them particularly to Milan—an act that for Kennedy is each a inventive migration and a revolt—and additional, how introducing sudden parts to current customs imposes a needed disruption to the Western cultural canon.
In “Libretto Accidentale,” which incorporates painted works in addition to a staged up to date opera, Kennedy identifies a ping-ponging between cultures the place they meet and merge. The artist questions the methods through which artwork evolves because of each accident and intention, an thought they discover by means of works on canvas on which vibrant colours bounce and explode in chaotic and summary configurations. On flat floor they articulate their experiences as a Black queer performer, however these painted explorations additionally reveal in layers and texture the depth present in unlikely cultural exchanges and collisions of worlds. In Kennedy’s bold opera, Zeferina, they discover Black resistance and the roots of Black social liberation actions.
By means of these works, Kennedy regards themselves as a poet tasked with transcribing ancestral information onto canvas. They actively remodel cultural custom onstage, and disrupt preconceived notions about opera and different types of passive Western theater. Synonyms collide in actual time to supply new that means: Kennedy is intrigued by the processes by means of which written textual content can produce a libretto, that by means of experiment or accident can change into an opera, which in flip is a celebration of an unlikely life’s work. Altogether, it’s a manufacturing that demonstrates how diligence and perseverance can result in sudden locations. Radically collapsing and colliding the boundaries between genres, with this collection the artist asks, how do work sound? How does textual content make style tangible and concrete? How does life render itself operatic? Kennedy performs with synesthetic genre-blending, and thru this experimentation they query how accidents result in evolution, with the understanding that an accident could be a defiance of the principles that govern inventive genres.
at Peres Tasks, Milan
till December 16, 2022