“The Beat Goes On,” an exhibition featuring work by Elia Alba, Kevin Beasley, Paul D. Miller, a.k.a., D.J. Spooky, and Tameka Norris, a.k.a. Meka Jean, and curated by visual artist Derrick Adams. For “The Beat Goes On,” the SVA Chelsea Gallery was transformed into four distinct listening rooms, each presenting a solo show by one of the featured artists. Adams’ aim in curating “The Beat Goes On” was to “celebrate the cross section of contemporary culture where visual arts meet and merge with music.” Adams adds “each artist acts as a predecessor in the development of the turntable and its [relationship] to the cultural hubs and the alternative languages it forms in relation to current technologies, counterculture happenings, experimentation, the avant¬-garde and the mainstream.”
Elia Alba’s listening room was set up as a homage to legendary DJ Larry Levan, the late “musical shaman” of the Paradise Garage disco in New York City. Renowned for fusing different genres of music together and garnering a diverse audience, Levan’s sessions were dubbed “Saturday Mass,” a name that reflects the importance of club going as a weekly ritual. The room recalls the church-like and spiritual experience of Levan’s events, with a dimly lit atmosphere, DJ setup, photographic works, sculptural masks, disco ball, checkered dance floor and video projection. In keeping with Levan’s spirit of inclusivity, visitors were encouraged to stay and dance.