Artists' Books


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Creation Date



African Americans, racism, United States, boredom, anger, black artists, white culture, black Americans, artists' books


15 leaves, unbound sheets. Issued in burnt orange cloth-covered portfolio with bright red-pink lettering. Title from portfolio. Portfolio held closed with a yellow elastic band.

"Designed by Tony Cokes and Elana Schlenker. Screeprinted in Ithaca, New York by Kaleb Hunkele. Slipcase produced in Jersey City, New Jersey by Conveyor Editions. Edition of 100. Second Edition"--Colophon, page [3] of portfolio.

The Black Banal, a limited edition, hand silk-screened portfolio, is a graphic blast of found text sourced and sequenced by Tony Cokes. Cokes channels the intense boredom and extreme anger generated by his encounter with the source material into an act of "minor deconstruction." The fact that race was rendered marginal, and banal, in its original reading context makes the excerpts more resonant, intriguing in their isolation, producing new, broader connections in a different place and time. 15 leaves each in a different color with short texts on the meaning of being black in America and exploring being a black artist in a predominantly white culture.

RISD Fleet Library Catalog Record


New York : Greene Naftali ; Ithaca, New York : Image Text Ithaca Press, [2019]

Materials / Techniques

silk screen; paper


29 cm

The Black Banal



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