Kevin Beasley, b. 1985, Lynchburg, VA. Lives and works in New York, NY
Kevin Beasley creates work in sound and sculpture that allude to traces of absent bodies. Comprised of materials that hold personal significance, Beasley’s works investigates everyday objects as signifiers of the lived cultural experience of Black identity. A recurring motif is colourful second-hand clothes such as T-shirts, house dresses and bandanas, encased in clear resin and shaped into a variety of dramatic organic forms. Beasley often re-contextualizes existing materials and references to create a new narrative with their physicality, as seen in Billy’s Clubs (2017). This sculpture includes a set of thrift store golf clubs with the brand name ‘Billy Club’, and a police baton colloquially referred to by the same name. Sound as a corporeal material has also been a focus of many works. In the installation … for this moment, this moment is yours … (2013) a soundscape is created by a reel-to-reel tape player fitted with 4000 cassette tapes wound to play both sides simultaneously. Creating an uncanny sonic collage that alternates between recordings of music, spoken word and overdubbed live performances, Beasley conjures up and then complicates history, memory and identity.