Delighted to be back in Penzance where I have spent two very productive days researching at The Hypatia Trust with the phenomenal Melissa Hardie-Budden and Miki Ashton -so inspirational! Today I will be at the Exchange for a lunchtime event where I will discuss my research at Hypatia in relation to my Venice project in the Diaspora Pavillion later this year. Thank you so much to Blair Todd and everyone at The Newlyn Exchange for making this possible. I have posted some pictures of the fantastic installation of the exhibition ‘Lost Languages and other voices’ currently on show at The Newlyn Exchange Gallery, Penzance.
The title of the exhibition refers to the works Gomera (2008) and Kalahari (2009) in which Gregory draws attention to the cultural importance of marginalised African indigenous languages. Journeys feature recurrently in Gregory’s work, which have been made in diverse locations including South Africa, the Orkneys, Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean.
Cinderella Tours Europe (1997-2001) parodies the notion of the Grand Tour, with photographs of a seductive pair of gold high-heeled shoes travelling from the Caribbean to well-known sites in Paris and Venice; whilst Hoy/Hobart (2008) is inspired by the onerous journey from London to Hoy, a trip that took the same amount of time as one to Hobart in Tasmania.
Assumptions about feminine beauty are also consistently explored. The Fairest (1998) and Bottled Blonde (1998) examine the desire to be blonde, whilst Objects of Beauty (1992 – 1995) critiques consumer products of the Western fashion industry.
Lost Languages and other voices is an Impressions Gallery touring exhibition, curated by Anne McNeill. “As a charity that helps people understand the world through photography, we’re excited to see this exhibition shared with visitors in the South West,” said McNeill.
04 Feb 2017 – 30 Apr 2017
A very rare chance to see the original photographic prints produced by Joy Gregory for the 1990’s Autoportrait series. These were initially produced for an exhibition of the same name. This show opened at Camerawork on Roman Road before going on an extensive international tour. Autoportrait was curated at Autograph by Sunil Gupta and Monika Baker.
The starting-point for this exhibition is a pivotal decade for British culture
and politics: the 1980s. Spanning painting, sculpture, photography, film
and archives, The Place Is Here brings together a wide range of works by
more than 30 artists and collectives. The questions they ask – about
identity, representation and what culture is for – remain vital today.
In 1982, a group of artists and thinkers met in Wolverhampton at the the
First National Black Art Convention, to discuss the ‘form, future and
function of Black Artʼ. Two years later, the second ‘working conventionʼ
took place here in Nottingham. What constitutes ‘black artʼ, or the ‘Black
Arts Movementʼ was, and continues to be, heavily contested.
This exhibition traces some of the urgent conversations that were taking
place between black artists, writers and thinkers during the 80s. Against a
backdrop of civil unrest and divisive national politics, they were exploring
their relationship to Britainʼs colonial past as well as to art history. Many
artists were looking to the Civil Rights movement in America, Black
feminism, Pan-Africanism, the struggle over apartheid, and the emergent
fields of postcolonial and cultural studies.
The Place Is Here does not present a chronological survey. Instead, it is
conceived as a kind of montage. For many of these artists, montage
allowed for identities, histories and narratives to be dismantled and
reconfigured according to new terms. The exhibition assembles different
positions, voices and media to present a shifting portrait of a decade
while refusing to pin it down. The presentation is structured around four
overlapping groupings, each of which is titled after a work on display:
Signs of Empire; We Will Be; The Peopleʼs Account; and Convenience Not
The Art Newspaper, Jan 2017
“We were dealing with an invisibility, trying to get ourselves seen, trying to
get ourselves shown. (Lubaina Himid)” – Louisa Buck. More >>
Apollo, 17 Jan 2017
“In 1970s Britain you rarely saw black people on the television, or in
newspapers. (Lubaina Himid)” – Imedla Barnard. More >>
Guardian, 18 Jan 2017
“I was trying to make places and spaces where we could see ourselves,
but also where we could be seen. (Lubaina Himid)” – Hettie Judah. More
The Observer, 22 Jan 2017
“Himid describes herself as more “a political startegist using visual
language” than “a painter in the strictest sense.”” – Laura Cumming. More
Artnet, 24 Jan 2017
“Himid’s message feels as fresh and as urgent as it was in the 1980s,
when she first gained critical notoriety.” Lizzie Lloyd. More >>
Artists include: Said Adrus, John Akomfrah, Rasheed Araeen, Martina
Attille, David A. Bailey, Sutapa Biswas, Zarina Bhimji, Black Audio Film
Collective, Sonia Boyce, Vanley Burke, Ceddo, Eddie Chambers, Rotimi
Fani-Kayode, Joy Gregory, Sunil Gupta, Mona Hatoum, Lubaina Himid,
Gavin Jantjes, Claudette Johnson, Isaac Julien, Chila Kumari Burman,
Dave Lewis, Mowbray Odonkor, Pratibha Parmar, Maybelle Peters, Keith
Piper, Ingrid Pollard, Donald Rodney, Veronica Ryan, Marlene Smith, Maud
Archives: Blk Art Group Research Project, African-Caribbean, Asian &
African Art in Britain Archive (Chelsea College of Arts Library, University of
the Arts), The June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive (including films by
Imruh Bakari, Ceddo, Amani Naphtali and Maybelle Peters), Making
Histories Visible Archive (Centre of Contemporary Art at the University of
Central Lancashire), The Stuart Hall Library, Iniva (Institute of International
Visual Arts), London.
The Place Is Here is curated by Nick Aikens and Sam Thorne, with Nicola
Guy. The exhibition is an expanded version of a presentation Aikens
curated at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, in 2016, titled Thinking
Back: A Montage of Black Art in Britain. Archival displays are curated in
collaboration with Vanley Burke, June Givanni, Lubaina Himid, Claudette
Johnson, Keith Piper and Marlene Smith.
The exhibition, as well as an extensive public engagement programme, is
supported by Arts Council Englandʼs Strategic Touring programme, a
collaboration with Modern Art Oxford, Spike Island, Bristol, the Harris
Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, and firstsite in Colchester. The
engagement programme will examine race, gender and social justice.
A selection from the exhibition will also be touring to Middlesbrough
Institute of Modern Art later in the year.
After almost 10 years delay I have at last arrived back in South Africa. My wish is to complete the work I began in 2005, so am returning to the Kalahari. My desire is to somehow make visual the important issue of endangered language and it’s impact on our collective future.
I owe the completion of this project to Madgdalena, Oumas |una, Kheis, Anna and Oupa Andries. Sadly the elders and Madgdalena have now passed away and the language that they spoke may also be on the cusp of departing this world. They each opened their homes and families to me, sharing their knowledge and culture so their stories may be known outside their world.
I hope to make a work worthy of the generosity of all the people I met on this journey. Many thanks to Nigel Crawhall for his introduction to this world and his unending support. [Image L-R: Sarah (assistant) Ouma |una, Ouma Kheis, Nigel Crawhall]
I am in Johannesburg for few days re-familiarising myself with the research from my previous visits in relation to this work.
I am luck to be staying with the amazing artist Bronwen Findley whose work and practice is a constant inspiration.
Thursday 10th–Sunday 13th September 2015
Having only seen the Gardini and Arsenale during visit to the Venice Bienale in the opening week, I decided to go again. This time I managed to cover the outside of the main menus but once again failed to see the American Pavilion. We did however enjoy excellent pizza, very reasonably priced fine white wine and a quieter city.
Babak Kazemi – 8 Year Old Persian Pickle installation of rows of jars containing images of “pickled” Persian life 0n a white-painted pantry shelf. The form brings to mind work of Sri Lankan artist Thamotharampillai Shanaathanan and his collaborative installation Imag(in)ing ‘Home’ although the ideas behind the work are very different.
Raza Aramesh’s – Action 144: Friday April 25th, 2003 at 07:55, 2015 references a particular incident where prisoners’ clothes were burnt forcing them to parade entirely naked through the streets of Baghdad. A punishment meted out by the US army.
Délio Jasse’s Ausência Permanente like much of his work re-appropriates, re-locates and re-presents images through the lens which focuses on the ruins of the Portuguese Empire
My favourite piece was a video by Binelde Hyrcan entitled ‘Cambeck Voitures’. The inequalities of the world are enacted through the four children’s play and conversation which eloquently voices experiences of poverty and migration.
Despite great intentions and eating in the adjoining café, we didn’t actually manage to make the show. Fantastic if you are going to see the palace but €18 to see 10 paintings … I’m not sure. Hope very much to see them in the UK.
Home to Benedictine monks for over 500 years and later used as a place to care for the mentally ill, this must be one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the whole of Venice. San Servolo is only Conference Centre in Venice to offer accommodation. I am hoping that is is possible for mere mortals to stay on the island. My interest was to seethe Syrian and Cuban Pavillions, which are housed on the island and did not disappoint.
Focus on concern with Cuba’s the new relationship with the USA and Capitalism, a graphic depiction of knowledge alongside a video shot in Kabul showing children playing with ‘the debris of war’.
The day went very quickly and the gallery was closing. Wide range of practice and concerns. I was most struck by the video BAA’L by Narine Ali which showed the destruction of antiquities in an museum .
I was completely blown away by the video installation Graham Fagan’s Slave’s Lament. It made this second trip to Venice totally the right thing to do. I am so going to get the vinyl, which had sold out in Venice –Matts Gallery??
Shilpa Gupta & Rashid Rana
‘Your East is My West’ is the first time a Pakistan and Indian artist have shown together in Venice. There is a deep discomfort in the experience of the viewer being the viewed when you realise that what you imagine to be a video is others viewing you in real time. On top of this they can hear and interrogate you and you them! Being British we fled but there was a French couple who took great delight in the experience and probably spent the rest of the evening there.
Great to be back in London. Nothing like a sunny day strolling from Strand to the South Bank to make you fall in love with the city.
Gardens at the National Theatre
Discovered beautiful roof Garden at the National –quiet and secluded. Great place for a quiet read or in our case a birthday tea. It was fabulous to lie on a bench in the sun hidden by the long grass only minutes from the Elephant and Castle!
Felt the need to make the most of my Southbank Membership and went to see the Carsten Höller’s Deciscion. It was the last day so I didn’t manage to go on any of the rides but had a good look round. Not sure that I got the most out of it -but hey everyone was having a good time