September 13–December 23, 2017


Jibade-Khalil Huffman_GradientJibade-Khalil Huffman_Untitled (Citizen)Steffani Jemison_Untitled (Affirmations for Living)Kameelah Janan Rasheed_And Black?Tiona Nekkia McClodden_Essex + AudreKameelah Janan Rasheed_TouchTony Lewis_dope repoaMartine Syms_Lessons

This fall, the Institute of Contemporary Art will present Speech/Acts, a group exhibition featuring new and recent works by artists Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Steffani Jemison, Tony Lewis, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Martine Syms.

On view from September 13 through December 23, 2017, Speech/Acts explores experimental black poetry and how the social and cultural constructs of language have shaped black American experiences. The exhibition will also feature prose and poetry by Morgan Parker and Simone White, as well as a satellite outpost for The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII), founded by poet Claudia Rankine. The immersive and interactive environment of Speech/Acts will invite participation and response, challenge how social realities are manipulated and formed, and illuminate the slippages between speech and noise.

Speech/Acts is organized by Assistant Curator Meg Onli. A fully illustrated catalogue co-published with Futurepoem will accompany the exhibition, featuring reprints of seminal texts by Fred Moten and Harryette Mullen, newly commissioned poetry by Morgan Parker and Simone White, and an essay from the curator.

A Speech/Acts reading group will meet over six Saturday afternoons in the fall; we will discuss syllabus texts and explore what they illuminate and provoke. The group will meet in the TRII satellite outpost, which will be installed in the first-floor galleries at ICA. All are welcome to join the reading group; the syllabus and schedule are listed here.

Support for Speech/Acts has been provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Edna W. Andrade Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation, Nancy & Leonard Amoroso, Toby Devan Lewis, and Carolyn Oakley Lowe & Winston I. Lowe.

Speech/Acts Install 1Speech/Acts Install 2Speech/Acts Install 3Speech/Acts Install 4Speech/Acts Install 5Speech/Acts Install 6Speech/Acts Install 7Speech/Acts Install 8Speech/Acts Install 9Speech/Acts Install 10Speech/Acts Install 11Speech/Acts Install 12

Reading Group Syllabus (PDF)
Gallery Guide (PDF)
Exhibition Poster (PDF)

Fall Opening CelebrationSpeech/Acts Reading Group: Introduction to Speech/Acts and Claudia RankineSpeech/Acts Reading Group: Race and SpacePerformance: Jibade-Khalil HuffmanSpeech/Acts Reading Group: Race and FormSpeech/Acts Reading Group: Simone White and Christina SharpeConversation and Workshop with Kameelah Janan RasheedRace and Form: A Dialogue, with Dorothy Wang, John Keene, Meg Onli, and Julia BlochSpeech/Acts Reading Group: Harryette MullenSpeech/Acts Reading Group: M. NourbeSe PhilipSpeech/Acts Catalog Launch with Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Morgan Parker, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Simone White

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