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News Release

Speech/Acts

SEPTEMBER 13, 2017

Exploring Experimental Black Poetry, featuring New and Recent Works from Emerging Visual Artists Jibade-Khalil Hu man, Steffani Jemison, Tony Lewis, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Martine Syms. Exhibition to Feature Special Programs and Reading Room Spotlighting Work of Poets Claudia Rankine, Morgan Parker, and Simone White, among others

Opening September 13, 2017, the Institute of Contemporary Art presents Speech/Acts, a group exhibition bringing together the work of a new generation of artists exploring how the social and cultural constructs of language have shaped black American experiences.

This fall, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) will present Speech/Acts, a group exhibition bringing together the work of a new generation of artists exploring how the social and cultural constructs of language have shaped black American experiences. Drawing from black experimental poetry, as well as popular texts produced for films, magazines, TV, and books, the works on view deconstruct the structural elements of language to rupture its intended purpose through collage, drawing, text-based installation, and video.

On view from September 13 through December 23, 2017, Speech/ Acts brings together recent work and new commissions by six artists: Jibade-Khalil Hu man, Steffani Jemison, Tony Lewis,
Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Martine Syms, who reflect upon experiences growing up through the social upheavals of the 1990s and draw on the current sociopolitical climate and the preceding Black Arts Movement in their work. A feature component of the exhibition is a reading room and dynamic series of programs that enable visitors to experience and explore the poetry that inspired Speech/Acts.