Adam Pendleton

Pasts, Futures, and Aftermaths. Revisiting the Black Dada Reader

In 2011, American artist Adam Pendleton (b. 1984) assembled Black Dada Reader, a compendium of texts, documents and positions that elucidated a practice and ethos of ‘Black Dada’.

Resembling a school course reader, the book was a spiral-bound series of photocopies and collages, originally intended only for personal reference, and eventually distributed informally to friends and colleagues.

The contents – an unlikely mix of Hugo Ball, W.E.B. Du Bois, Adrian Piper, Gertrude Stein, Sun Ra, Stokely Carmichael, Gilles Deleuze – formed a kind of experimental canon, realised through what Pendleton calls ‘radical juxtaposition’.

In 2017, Koenig Books published the Reader in a hardcover edition, with newly commissioned essays and additional writings by the artist. A decade later, Pendleton has composed another reader, building upon the constellation of writers, artists, filmmakers, philosophers and critics that emerged in the first volume.

With an introduction by George E. Lewis.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Adam Pendleton: Who Is Queen? at MoMA, New York (18 September 2021 – 30 January 2022).

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