Kim Kizyma
Graphic Designer + Creative Technologist

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Kanye will explain when the time is right

Kanye's recent antics of supporting MAGA and his extremely hurtful condescending comments about slavery being a choice are all a part of a greater "purpose." This purpose has been revealed on Twitter.

I am going to recap it here.

Essentially, Kanye is in the middle of a performance art piece. His Twitter account is dropping clues, while other accounts (of people close to Kanye) are doing the same.

A collaborator and friend of Kanye is Tremaine Emory.

On May 1st, Ye tweeted a picture of an "energy meeting. Beings from all different backgrounds." It appears to have Tremaine in the photo.

Tremaine Emory

Tremaine Emory

Tremaine is supposedly in the white hoodie

Tremaine is supposedly in the white hoodie

The next important clue is that shortly after Kanye re-joined Twitter, he tweeted the below images. The first two images involve David Hammons and the last two involve Joseph Beuys.

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So, the importance of the four images above involve Tremaine's response to Kanye's tweets. After the two David Hammons tweets, Tremaine tweeted the spade emoji.

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The spade emoji is believed to be a direct, almost literal reference to Hammons work, which, "aimed to turn racist cliches (spade) on its head." 

"In some (art), like 'Spade (Power for the Spade)' from 1969, he turned racist clichés on their head..."

The spade was in fact central to much of his work in the 70s. "Hammons used spades or shovels as a central component in much of his art from the 1970s, including his two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and performance works, in which the gardening tool represents the deprecating term spade, a common racial slur. In doing so, he also represents his own racial identity as a black male who remembers being referred to by this offensive term. By exploring this symbolic allusion in his sculptures, Hammons directly confronts the use of such language, displaying his commitment to racial reform in America and to the civil rights movement."

Now back to the two images of Joseph Beuys. The image with the coyote is from an art installation that Beuys did in 1974 called I Like America and America Likes Me. He locked himself with a coyote in a room for 3 days, exploring the idea of tolerating and accepting the coyote, "a wild spirit--often thought of as America's untamed spirit." Beuys' desire to heal was supposed to calm the coyote and allow them to cohabitate.

"The reason for this conflict [of human vs coyote], although complex in its nature, is to do with difference. Rather than embracing what is unknown, American society has a tended towards fear and rejection of it. But that is exactly what Beuys, a man who grew up in the surroundings of the Hitler Youth, the Berlin Wall, the Luftwaffe and World War II, was battling against. For him, art had the power to transform society. 'Art alone makes life possible,' he once declared, taking a step on from the purce conceptualism of Marcel Duchamp. 'Every man is an artist.'"

"With I Like America and America Likes Me, Beuys wanted to begin an national dialogue. While its patriotic title recalls the popular myth of the United States as the 'melting pot' where people of all backgrounds can coexist harmoniously, Beuys saw in 1970s America a nation divided over its involvement in the Vietnam War and particular, a country whose white population oppressed indigenous, immigrant, and minority populations.

And in some Native American lores and beliefs, the powerful coyote represents both the possibility of transformation and the archetypal trickster. In certain myths, the coyote takes on a Promethean role, teaching humans how to survive. As Levi Strauss also noted, the author of a 1983 book on coyotes compared their resilience to the resistance of the Vietnamese soldier--an equivalence that Beuys would have appreciated.

'You could say that a reckoning has to be made with the coyote, and only then can this trauma be lifted,' he said of his performance. For those three days, he attempted to make eye contact with the coyote while regularly performing symbolic gestures, such as tossing his leather gloves to it or gesticulating wildly at it with his hands and walking stick. Occasionally, he would assume the guise of a shepherd, cloaked in his felt with a hooked walking stick protruding from it.'"

It is almost clear that Kanye is attempting a modern approach on this concept. He is embracing Trump (our coyote) and Candace Owens (Alt Right).

Also, interestingly enough, Kanye tweeted "too much emphasis is put on originality. Feel free to take ideas and update them at your will...all great artists take and update." He also said: "let's be less concerned with ownership of ideas. It is important that ideas see the light of day even if you don't get the credit for them. Let's be less concerned with credit awards and external validation."

After Kanye tweeted his "mood board," which involved the Joseph Beuys book, David Hammons book, and a vague sketch of what people are considering Andy Kaufman (a performance artist who would put himself in uncomfortable situations in wide view of the public eye, while rarely, if ever, breaking character), Tremaine quoted his tweet with another response that is telling.

It can be assumed that the spade emoji represents the MAGA hat, a symbol of perceived racism.

The juggler could represent Kanye pulling a trick on everyone, or juggling many things.

The cowboy hat represents taming the coyote.

The fighting emoji represents Kaufman.

Now, the wording "The prestige" that Tremaine tweeted, could in fact allude to the movie in which the prestige is a final act of a magic trick.

Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge.” The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you the object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn.” The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret... but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige.”
— Christopher Priest, The Prestige

It's also important to note that Ye is no stranger to taking perceived racist symbols and attempting to flip it like Hammons and the spade. In 2013 he wore a controversial confederate flag on a jacket and commented its meaning: "React how you want. Any energy is good energy. The confederate flag represented slavery in a way. That's my abstract take on what I know about it, right? So I wrote the song 'New Slaves.' So I took the confederate flag and made it my flag. It's my flag now."

He also commented on the MAGA hat saying: "I feel when people think of MAGA they don't think of empathy. This is year one. We can't add empathy to MAGA by hating. We can only add empathy with love and time and truly hearing all sides."

The ultimate theory is the Kanye, with support from others including Tremaine, is in the midst of his version of the coyote performance art piece.

Starting conversation and forcing us to talk about some things that make us uncomfortable is most likely one of his end goals. Maybe the new album will explain. I'm sure it will have more clues.

All of this information came courtesy of Twitter, specifically @Snowcone965.

kk