24-Hour Opening | Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test

Join us for the 24-hour opening of Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test beginning on Thursday, September 24 at 8:00PM and running till Friday, September 25 at 8:00PM. We look forward to celebrating with you.


On view at Red Bull Arts New York from September 24–November 15, 2020, Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test is the first major solo show by artist Akeem Smith. This large-scale debut traverses the slippages between memory, the archive, and history, excavating the personal photographs and videos entrusted to the artist over the past decade by various family members, friends, and pivotal figures of Kingston’s dancehall community.

Drawing upon his experience growing up between New York and Jamaica, Smith harmonizes disparate elements from this extensive archival documentation, which chronicles this seminal era from the early 80s through y2k, conjuring a collective memory that otherwise would have only existed on the threshold of the artist’s own. Part poem, part anthropological homage, No Gyal Can Test forms a layered exploration of spectral coloniality, diaspora, and the voyeurism that results from transposing these artefacts across cultural, economic, and temporal divides.

As part of the exhibition, Smith has collaborated with sculptor Jessi Reaves to create custom mannequins, the British fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner to design Red Bull Arts gallery attendant uniforms, and musicians Total FreedomPhysical Therapy, and Alex Somers to create original scores.

Please note that advance appointments are required as capacity will be limited and attendees must wear a facial covering at all times. Click here to learn more about Red Bull Arts expanded healthy and safety measures. 

Related Exhibitions: Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test