• MoMA PS1 / Stage: Jaylen Strong


Jaylen Strong

  • Performance

View of Rashid Johnson's Stage. Performance by Jaylen Strong on September 15, 2020. Photo: Marissa Alper Video: Eva Cruz

Jaylen Strong, a poet and activist who curates the book selection at Playground Coffee in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, activated Rashid Johnson's Stage on September 15, 2020.

Stage is a participatory installation and sound work that draws on the history of the microphone as a tool for protest and public oratory, while recalling the metonymic references to microphones in hip-hop lyrics from the 1980s to the present. In this moment of vast uncertainty and widespread protest, the work also points to the tension between the power of the voice as a tool for change, and fear of the voice as a potential transmitter of illness. The installation offers a place for the public to speak their mind.