BEN HALLJives & Gambles
May 1st - May 30, 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 1st, 2021 4-6 PM
Jives & Gambles is a suite of three new works by Detroit-based artist and composer Ben Hall. Essex Flowers is thrilled to present his first New York solo show.
The installation is composed of a drawing, a sculpture, and a video.
The drawing (Constellation) and the sculpture (Medallions) ground elements of the video by reminding the viewer that the physics of race and popular culture are embedded in the Grand American Narrative. The 13 minute video, Essay (Jeopardy, after Daniel Patrick Moynihan), is titled after the 1965 government report, The Negro Family: A Case for National Action, familiarly known as “the Moynihan Report”. It features antagonistic puppets in the manner of Philip Guston’s infamous klansmen and a score for percussion composed and performed by Hall. Other ghosts, gamblers, and jivers included in the works are Frantz Fanon, Prodigy from Mobb Deep, Steve Harvey, and Paul Wall.
Born and raised in Detroit, Ben Hall has presented solo work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and was a curator at Young World where he presented Lan Tuazon, Kambui Olujimi, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. He is currently a research fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College.