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May 27: Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere

7pm at The Sunview Luncheonette
221 Nassau Ave Ground Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Toward a New Anthem

In 2016 Colin Kaepernick, then San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, began sitting and later kneeling during the national anthem. Over the past few years, Kaepernick’ s ongoing actions have prompted national debate and forced reflections of the social and political state of the nation. His standpoint is in dialogue with a history of actions directed toward and against the performance of the national anthem. From the 1961 Beatnik Riot in Washington Square Park (NYC) where folk musicians sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a collective public exercise in free speech, to the 1968 Mexico City Olympics where Tommie Smith and John Carlos used the platform of global athletics to protest the mistreatment and oppression of African-Americans in the US, the performance of the national anthem has become central to public dialogue pertaining to freedoms and inequality. We are interested in these contexts as sites of resistance where song and public assembly play central roles.

Our work-in-progress, Toward a New Anthem began with a trip to Baltimore where we researched historical materials and photographs, and documented both the original manuscript and the facsimile of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Maryland Historical Society. In addition, we traveled both north and south across the Francis Scott Key Bridge while listening to Jimi Hendrix’s protest rendition of the song (Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner”, and as commemoration the bridge was named after him).

Toward a New Anthem examines the political reverberations and manifested responses to the “The Star-Spangled Banner” over the last century. Our larger project will re-imagine and eventually (through collaborative songwriting) re-write the lyrics and music of the national anthem

Suggested Reading: 
A Punch in 4/4 Time, Valerie Tevere and Angel Nevarez, BOMB Magazine, Mar 15, 2017

Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere are multidisciplinary artists whose projects and research investigate contemporary music and sound, the electromagnetic spectrum, dissent, and public fora. Their interests lie in the intersection between art, music, and civic action/responsibility, and historical moments that resonate through distinct musical instrumentation and sonorous traditions.

Nevarez and Tevere have exhibited and screened their work at MoMA, The Guggenheim Museum, Creative Time, and New Museum in New York; Museo de Arte Raúl Anguiano, Guadalajara, Mexico; Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria; Casino Luxembourg, LU; Henie Onstad Art Centre, Høvikodden/Oslo, Norway; Manifesta 8/ Spain, and elsewhere. The first US survey of their work was exhibited at Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia in 2016. They have received fellowships and grants from Creative Capital, Art Matters, the NEA, and Franklin Furnace. Both were Studio Fellows at The Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, artists-in-residence at the International Artists Studio Program in Sweden (IASPIS), and recently at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY and Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA.

Tevere is Professor of Media Culture at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. Nevarez is a musician and Adjunct Faculty at Parsons School of Design, NY.