Kevin Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, VA) engages with the legacy of the American South through a new installation that centers on a cotton gin motor from Maplesville, Alabama. In operation from 1940 to 1973, the motor powered the gins that separated cotton seeds from fiber. Here, the New York-based artist uses it to generate sound as if it were a musical instrument, creating space for visual and aural contemplation. Through the use of customized microphones, soundproofing, and audio hardware, the installation divorces the physical motor from the noises it produces, enabling visitors to experience sight and sound as distinct. As an immersive experience, the work serves as a meditation on history, land, race, and labor. This is Beasley’s first solo exhibition at a New York museum, and his most ambitious work to date. Whitney museum of American Art
To accentuate the exhibition, Beasley enlisted collaborators and co-conspirators from different musical climes. The program started in January with a duet featuring Beasley himself with Taja Cheek, who makes smeary, bleary psychedelic soul music as L’Rain. Later that month was a performance by the deliriously dexterous drummer Eli Keszler, a New York fixture in various art-music circles as a solo artist—his recent album Stadium is a standout—and with others (the great saxophonist Joe McPhee, the electronic-music producer Oneohtrix Point Never, and many more).
– Read more in this article about “A View of A Landscape” in Artnews