Tony Cokes and Esther Ruiz
Curated by Lissa Corona and Marina Grize
Produced by Espacio Deslave
Assistance from Gustavo Miranda, Anna Zeltins
Deslave, Tijuana, MX
Pairing Cokes’ arresting video installation, Black Celebration, a rumination on the riots of the 1960’s in Black neighborhoods of Watts, Boston, Newark, and Detroit, with the neon glow of Ruiz’s minimalist sculpture, AFTERGLOW addresses the mass media perception of political unrest as a threat to consumerism rather than centering the justifiable frustration of the oppressed.
As the viewer is enveloped by the light of the video projection, the industrial material of Ruiz’s minimalist sculpture calls upon the urban spaces marked as landmarks of these historical uprisings. What is left after a riot and who or what do we choose to focus on when the people are tired of being silenced? AFTERGLOW serves as a reminder of the power we hold in numbers: as workers, neighbors, brethren demanding social and economic justice.