Sep 13–Dec 23, 2017


Speech/Acts, 2017, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. Photo: Constance Mensh.

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/Actswill 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.

Reading Group

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.

Featured Artworks

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

Installation ViewsSpeech/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

Fall Opening CelebrationSpeech/Acts Reading Group: Introduction to Speech/Acts and Claudia RankineSpeech/Acts Reading Group: Race and SpaceDefending Kanye West performed by 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 WhiteReading and Discussion: Eve Ewing at Penn Book Center

Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 10:20AM
Fall Opening Celebration
Books & Editions

Add every catalogue published by the ICA in 2018 to your bookshelf! Included are the accompanying catalogues to Christopher Knowles: in a word and Josephine Pryde: lapses in Thinking By the person i Am, curated by Anthony Elms, Myths of the Marble curated by Alex Klein, Ginny Casey & Jessi Reaves curated by Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow Charlotte Ickes, and Speech/Acts curated by Meg Onli.

This bundle retails for $163.00, and is available for a limited time for the discounted price of $115.00

Publication Date
5.25" x 7.5"
ISBN 9780884541431
Publication Date
Dante Carlos, River JukesHudson and Stephen Serrato (Studio ELLA)
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania & Futurepoem
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.