SCREEN: Cry Then Win Then Lose Reaction by Ashley Holmes

Artist: Ashley Holmes

Title: Cry Then Win Then Lose Reaction

Curated by: Christina Gigliotti

Screening: June 24 – July 14, 2019

Duration: 6’30”

The video Cry Then Win Then Lose Reaction by Ashley Holmes is part of his current research that attempts to dissect the legacy of collective activity within African diasporic communities. The work looks at new platforms of archive and documentation, focussing on the dynamics of performance in public spaces. Cry Then Win Then Lose Reaction is a close examination of a fractious dialogue and relationship between transatlantic Rap cultures and the secondary media of the internet reaction video. Holmes is interested in the varying roles assumed within these platforms and the unique bridge they provide between conversations around transatlantic understandings of Blackness.

In encountering the American hip hop fans’ online responses to new music, videos and freestyles (made by British artists of African and Caribbean heritage) internet audiences are provided a brief opportunity to witness a live process of understanding play out in front of them on-screen. The American reviews often begin tentatively – among other things they grapple with the language, the musical styles and performative aspects of what they are watching. Gradually, the reviewers become more animated and excitable as they start to understand the slang, rhythm, tone of voice and the musical elements of what they are watching.

(Text excerpt from the exhibition Cry Then Win Then Lose Reaction at Two Queens, UK, 2018)

Ashley Holmes (b. Luton 1990) is a Sheffield based multidisciplinary artist who uses archival material and combines it with an interest in the temporality of time based media, focussing on the spaces Blackness occupies within the traditions and language of visual and aural histories.

His work spans across moving image, performance, installation, radio broadcasts and music production, exploring contemporary conversations and thinking around raciology – a discourse that assumes certain stereotypes, prejudices, images and identities.

Recent selected exhibitions and projects include Survey , Jerwood Arts, London, UK; …and their tooth, finest gold , as part of Les Urbaines, Lausanne, Switzerland; Cry Then Win Then Lose Reaction (solo), Two Queens, Leicester, UK (all 2018); Money Cyant Fool Them Again (solo) 1.1, Basel, Switzerland; Starless Midnight , BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.