kenseth armstead

United States
brooklyn, NY
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kenseth armstead’s multimedia installation works have been exhibited at the; Brooklyn Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art; Bronx Museum; Studio Museum in Harlem and MIT. They are in numerous collections including the Centre Pompidou and African-American Museum in Texas. Grants he has won include the Pollock-Krasner, NYFA and the Hanks Cosby Fellowship. He received a BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and an MS (Integrated Digital Media) from Polytechnic University. He participated in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. This summer he will be Artist in Residence at Harvestworks and the Castle Trebesice (Prague, CZ.)

Memory is alchemy. Recalling a recent moment or hazy event from the distant past requires a murky formula consisting of, image retrieval, conscious mediation, synthesis and utter fabrication. The image is inherently unstable. Memory, personal or social, thus becomes the act of ordering incomplete pictures. My installation work follows suit, reshaping what is both close at hand and historically distant in a Sisyphean feedback loop. History and perception are used as creative tools.

My current work, Spook™, lyrically extends and technologically upgrades the tradition of Neo-classical history painting exploited by Jacques-Louis David. It is inspired by David’s lasting images of Napoleon and the age of revolution. Spook™ operates in critical dialog with David’s example. I recover an obscured fragment using rigorous historical research techniques; the true story of James Armistead Lafayette - his role as the double agent / slave that helped to end the American Revolution. Then like Fred Wilson and Jenny Holzer, I create an ironic, questionable reality. The formulaic memory composition changes, requiring a re-assembly of our notion of the American Revolution and the founding fathers.

The existing components of the Spook™ project; videos, drawings, video game, and historical research materials will be integrated into an installation based on the facts that tell this miraculous true story.

exhibitions selections (* catalog available upon request)
2006 invisible_cities: i_prague_2 (live from trebesice), FUTURA centre for contemporary art, Prague, Czech Republic*
2006 CinemaScope: Perpetual Art Machine, (Curated by Lee Wells,) Scope Art Fair, NY*
2006 Made in Woodstock III, Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY
2005 MULTIPLEX, The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, MN
2005 BROOKLinVIDEO, FUTURA centre for contemporary art, Prague, Czech Republic
2005 Arco International Art fair: Video Archive, Gigantic Artspace, Madrid, Spain
2004 20th Gala Ball Auction, African American Museum, Dallas, TX
2004 F|r|a|m|e analysis of movement, Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY
2004 Open House: Working in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY*
2004 Tactical Action, Gigantic Artspace, New York, NY*
2004 Hope: War Child Auction, Christie’s, London, England*
2003 AIM 23, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY *
2003 Veni Vidi Video, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
2001 300 Years of African American Art, African American Museum (Included by curator Phillip Collins,) Dallas, TX
2000 Biennial: 19th Carroll Harris Simms, National Black Art Competition and Exhibition, African American Museum, Dallas, TX
1999 I am poem, film broadcast on Nickelodeon & Noggin
1998 Fiction, Washington Projects for the Arts/Corcoran, Washington, DC *
1996 NYFA Video Fellowship Winners 1996, 530 Lines of Resolution, Den of Thieves, New York, NY
1995 Long Wood Arts Project Benefit Exhibition, P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York, NY
1993 Miahaus, Threadwaxing Space, New York, NY
1992 Dusk til Dawn, Dooley Le Capellaine Gallery, New York, NY

collaborative exhibition selections (as a member of the four-person collaborative art band X-Prz)
1995 No sell out... i wnt 2 b th ultimate commodity/machine (Malcolm X Part II,) Spirit Square, Charlotte, NC *
1994 Video installations VideoFest 1994, (Podewil) East Berlin, Germany *
1993 Dn't worry bout th gvrmnt, Decordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
1993 Jst bcz ur paranoid dn’t thnk thyr nt aftr u (Malcolm X Part 1,) Alternative Museum, New York, NY *
Exhibition traveled to: Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA, Spaces, Cleveland, OH, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN
2002 Politics of resistance and musical cultures, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain
2001 Race in Digital Space, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
Exhibition traveled to: Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
2001 Take Two: Contemporary Work by 13 International Artists, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON, Canada
2000 Sounding Snow, Centre Pour L'Image Contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland
1999 Frames of Reference: Reflections on Media, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
1997 Translocations, Photographers Gallery, London, England *
1996 No Doubt: African-American Art of the 90s, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT *
1994 Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY *
Exhibition traveled to: Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Artworks available from this artist:
Drawing 120 x 120 inches