A Genre-Defying New Exhibition at Peres Projects in Berlin Imagines Opera Through the Lens of the Queer Experience—See It Here

Take a sneak peek at a gallery that has just reopened to the public.

Installation view,
Installation view, "Richard Kennedy: Street Prophecy" at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

As galleries around the world begin to slowly reopen, we are focusing on exhibitions at spaces that are now open to public visitors. Check out this show at a newly reopened gallery below.

 

Richard Kennedy: Street Prophecy
Through June 12 at Peres Projects, Berlin

 

What the gallery says: The group of new soft sculptures, paintings, and busts in this show depict an opera deconstructed into its various parts. The term ‘opera,’ borrowed from the Italian word for ‘work,’ implies a Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork) incorporating diverse media, collaboration, virtuosity, and drama.

Kennedy appropriates and redefines multimedia modes of production as well as the dramatic tropes of the ‘highest art form’ of the European tradition to embody a black queer experience. The works in the exhibition hover between abstraction and figuration, self-portraiture and lyrical verse, the historic and the exuberant.”

Why it’s worth a look: A lifelong opera fan, the artist and performer Richard Kennedy has translated the elements of a theatrical performance into a fantastical suite of paintings that reflect his experience. Upon first look, the lyrical, wildly colorful pictures appear abstract, but there are words carved into the works. Some phrases, like “black unicorn” and “street prophecy,” recur throughout.

In another about-face (literally), the three white busts displayed in the gallery are contorted to varying degrees, displaying a range of emotion. The sculptures are stationed in front of the paintings, as if the artist is inserting himself before each canvas.

What it looks like: 

Installation view, "Richard Kennedy: STREET PROPHECY" at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

Installation view, “Richard Kennedy: Street Prophecy” at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

Richard Kennedy, <i>INFINITE TOTAL FREEDOM</i> (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, INFINITE TOTAL FREEDOM (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, <i>RUN ME</i> (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, RUN ME (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, Essence (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, Prophetess 1 (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, Prophetess 3 (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, Prophetess 2 (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Installation view, "Richard Kennedy: STREET PROPHECY" at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

Installation view, “Richard Kennedy: Street Prophecy” at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

Installation view, "Richard Kennedy: STREET PROPHECY" at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

Installation view, “Richard Kennedy: Street Prophecy” at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

Richard Kennedy, <i>Stun Stun</i> (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, Stun Stun (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, <i>STREET PROPHET</i> (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, STREET PROPHET (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, Ebony (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Installation view, "Richard Kennedy: STREET PROPHECY" at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

Installation view, “Richard Kennedy: Street Prophecy” at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

Richard Kennedy, Prophetess 2 (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, Kriss Kross (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Richard Kennedy, SHO-NUF (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Installation view, "Richard Kennedy: STREET PROPHECY" at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.

Installation view, “Richard Kennedy: Street Prophecy” at Peres Projects, Berlin. Photo: Matthias Kolb, courtesy Peres Projects.


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