Paul Stephen Benjamin: Black is the Color
December 14, 2015–June 25, 2016
Paul Stephen Benjamin (American, born 1966)
Black Is the Color, 2014
Looped video, salvaged televisions, and cords
Courtesy of the artist
Here, antiquated televisions of various shapes and sizes are organized into uneven columns. Each screen repeats a portion of Nina Simone’s 1959 Town Hall performance of “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” The artist has edited the film to create delays between the monitors, refashioning the song—a folk duet of Scottish and Appalachian origin—into a haunting round. Blackness and performativity shift to the forefront as the performance repeats, casting shadows that fill the gallery. The analog equipment and scattered, tangled cords also point toward the deteriorating nature of the endlessly looping work.