© Peres Projects / Richard Kennedy – Depressed in a floral dress (2022)

A solo exhibition of Berlin-based American artist, experiential composer, and librettist Richard Kennedy (1985) opens on Thu – Nov 17 (6pm-8.30pm) on the majestic premises of Peres Projects‘ gallery space in Milan. Presenting a new body of work, the exhibition is entitled Libretto Accidentale, and it’s the artist’s first with the gallery in the Lombardian capital. The show examines how opera travels through time and space, and how it engages, influences, and is in turn influenced by different cultures. While opera is part of the Western classical music tradition, Kennedy’s work interestingly considers the language of European high art through a lens of African American experience, drawing on vernacular performance traditions in order to interrupt the institution of Western theatre.

The showcase includes painted works as well as a staged contemporary opera, and Kennedy questions how accidental or inadvertent encounters can lead to discovery, particularly when conventionally unrelated art forms meet. They explore this idea through works on canvas on which vibrant colours bounce and explode in chaotic and abstract configurations. On flat surface they articulate their experiences as a black queer performer, but these painted explorations also reveal in layers and texture the depth found in unlikely cultural exchanges and collisions of worlds. Their opera Zeferina explores black resistance and the roots of black social liberation movements. Kennedy plays with synesthetic genre-blending, and through this experimentation they question how accidents lead to evolution, with the understanding that an accident can be a defiance of the rules that govern artistic genres.

Peres Projects
Piazza Belgioioso 2 (Duomo)
20121 Milan
Telephone: +49 30 275950770
Mon-Fri 11am-6pm

© Peres Projects / Richard Kennedy – Micro Braid Baddie (2022) and City Street Wall Beat (2022)