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Alida Rodrigues: Anthologia


Alida Rodrigues, born in Angola in 1983 and based in London, will be showing and developing work in the Education Space from 2nd until 18th of October. Iniva is providing Rodrigues with an open studio to enable a dialogue with visitors and provide an opportunity for her to experiment with her practice. During this time, the public are invited to view both an existing and a developing body of work within the space.

As part of the residency the artist will take part in two public events; a public workshop on working with collage and process on Saturday 11th October and an In Conversation with the artist and ethnobotanist and visual anthropologist Dr Ricardo Leizaola on Saturday 18th October which will end the show.

Exhibition/Open Studio
Preview: 2 October 2014, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Dates: 2 October – 18 October 2014
Public Workshop: 11 October, 3-4.30pm
In Conversation: 18 October, 3-4.30pm
Venue: Education Space, Iniva, Rivington Place, London, EC2A 3BA
Opening hours: Tuesday- Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Admission: free

BITERS – performance video clip and preview photos

Last week saw the launch of Issa Samb’s exhibition at Iniva, but also artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy’s project and installation, BITERS. There was an excellent turn out to the opening which prompted the artists to launch into a spontaneous performance moving around the gallery space.

Through Biters, the artists examine the possibility for truthful, authentic experience via the popular cultures that have influenced them. The installation is open to the public in Iniva’s Education Space from Thur-Sat until 3 July.

Here is a video clip and a few photos of the evening:

A talk on sample culture with the artists and writer Morgan Quaintance takes place on Saturday 21 June, 3pm (free), and there’s another chance to see the BITERS perform on 3 July, 6:30pm (£5/£3). Find out more.

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Iniva at Art14 – see work by Kimathi Donkor and Lubaina Himid

Iniva is delighted to announce its participation at Art14 international art fair this weekend. This year we will be exhibiting artworks for sale as well as contributing to the public programme of talks. Visit us at Stand N9.

At Art14 over 180 galleries from 40 countries will showcase over 700 artists, from emerging talents to modern masters. The fair will feature a range of media including painting, sculpture, photography, editions and more.

Situated within the not-for-profit section of the fair, Iniva will be showing work by celebrated international artists that we have worked with over the last year. All proceeds of artwork sales support our artistic and educational programme.

Expect to see large scale paintings by Kimathi Donkor, works on paper by Lubaina Himid as well as limited edition prints by Peter Clarke. There’s also a chance to view and purchase limited copies of the Rivington Place Portfolio, which includes work by Sonia Boyce, Hew Locke, Isaac Julien and Chris Ofili.

As an official partner of Art14 London, we have a special 2 for 1 offer on £12 Standard Tickets. Simply quote ‘INIVA’ when booking online to redeem your ticket.

Iniva’s Talks programme

Saturday 1st March, 4pm
How is India navigating its own recent art history? With Zasha Colah, Clark House Initiative, Mumbai; art historian, critic and curator Deepak Ananth and art critic Zehra Jumabhoy.

Sunday 2nd March, 1:30pm
Hong Kong and Singapore – as places on the move, what are the implications for contemporary art in SouthEast Asia. With curator Sally Lai and Ying Kwok, founder of the Collectors Club, Hong Kong.

Sunday 2nd March, 3pm
Africa in the Spotlight – as interest increases, what is happening in parts of this vast continent, and what are the realities for artists?
With art historian Liese van der Watt, curator and research fellow Christine Eyene and independent curator Yasmina Reggad.

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Chris Dercon and Yinka Shonibare MBE Launch New Iniva Fund

Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern, and artist Yinka Shonibare MBE launched Iniva’s Commissions and Exhibitions Fund on 6 November. Turkish artist Burak Delier, whose work explores capitalism through art, will be the first to benefit from the Fund.


We were glad to welcome Chris Dercon, Yinka Shonibare MBE, board members and other guests to the launch of our new Fund which was created to provide the next generation of artists from around the world with the opportunity to create new work, offering them creative freedom in terms of content, and supporting them to take their careers to the next level.

The Fund has been established through the proceeds of an auction of works generously donated by artists who were supported by Iniva earlier in their careers. The first works, sold at auction through Sotheby’s in February 2013, were donated by Yinka Shonibare MBE, Mona Hatoum, David Adjaye and Peter Randall-Page. The new commission from Burak Delier, to be shown at Rivington Place from 26 March – 17 May 2014, will enable him to critique society in a way that is relevant to Turkey and beyond.

Chris Dercon gave a rousing speech about his relationship with Iniva. Here are edited highlights!

The reason I got the job at the Tate Modern is simple, it was because of Iniva. Iniva and the history of Iniva created a blueprint for what I have been doing over the past twenty years, and in interviews when I became the director of Tate modern I kept referring to Iniva. The reason is simple. In 1994 Tate hosted a conference called New Internationalism, and if you read the papers they say that’s where it all started. New internationalism at Tate Modern. In fact…and that is a hard fact, it was a conference organised in 1994 in Tate Britain by Iniva. Iniva invited all the key speakers. Iniva started it all! Iniva became a movement!

Iniva creates a space where people who know something can speak with people who know something else. It’s always at Iniva where you get to see these different things that you have to learn – Iniva is showing the things you don’t know yet. I am only interested in knowing the things I don’t know yet. So thanks Tessa, Yinka and Iniva – it’s thanks to you I have a job!

Iniva is a place for meetings, speaking and a place for encounters… and when [Tessa] calls the artists they come. Then she commissions artists like our friend here from Istanbul, he comes. And he (Burak Delier) is going to address this problem of the new London and the new Istanbul, trying to give another perspective because that’s what Iniva has been doing, and only Iniva, since 1994.


Yinka Shonibare MBE also spoke about how Iniva had helped him with his career in the early days with the project Diary of A Victorian Dandy which showed on London’s underground Tube network in 1998. Yinka raised significant monies for the Fund with his generous donation of Boy on Globe for the auction last year. “As an artist I never wanted to be in the margins, I wanted to be in the mainstream and Iniva was able to help me achieve a lot of that….“.

Tessa introduces the Fund and announces Burak Delier as the first recipient.

Burak Delier said that he was delighted to be selected and thanked the artists who had donated work to raise the funds that will go towards his show at Rivington Place in March 2014. Find out more about Burak Delier

For full information about the Commissions and Exhibitions Fund and Burak Delier please visit our Press Page.

Photos by Christa Holka.

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Parentheses on Truth, Beauty and Humanity

London welcomed thousands of art lovers to the city this past weekend with exciting art fairs and exhibitions leading up to the ever-present ‘Frieze London’. However, this year I decided to take a different approach to understanding multiple art forms. Intrigued by its synopsis, I attended a performance by Goshka Macuga in collaboration with Ansuman Biswas as part of the fascinating exhibition Tagore’s Universal Allegories. The live event was a musical interpretation, based on the legendary conversation between Tagore and Einstein.  The discussion questions philosophy, consciousness, beauty, art and science and perhaps the combination of them all.

The performance was held within Rivington Place’s main ground floor exhibition space, surrounded by works by Anna Boghiguian. Immediately the scenery had a very real essence. The setting was both intimate and extremely vibrant since it has an inviting window, which allowed for the public to be involved.  Biswas talked upon the core of the conversation and announced that he and a Cellist, Hannah Marshall, will be listening to the discussion via earpieces, creating the music through improvisation.

The piece began with Biswas channeling Tagore with the Estraj (an Indian Instrument) and Marshall emulating Einstein with the Cello. You could feel the exchange of intelligence and the intensity of energy between the two instruments. They complimented one another, yet also juxtaposed (much like the depth of the conversation). An interesting change of Indian instruments from the Estraj to the PanArt, I feel, was a symbolic representation of the transition from the subject of Eastern to Western music. The introduction of the PanArt gave the performance a more melodic, contemporary feel.  The pace and rhythm became much more energetic as the communication strengthened.

Goshka Macuga introduces the event

In my opinion the core of significance throughout this performance was the theory of translation. The power of exchange between the outside (public), the transcript (via ear piece) and the delivery of music was remarkable. The performance became a cyclical conversation. I began to ponder upon the concept of relationships; the relationship we have with one another. The bond of humanity is far more dominant than we could ever imagine. We share more similarities than differences. Therefore, vocality and exchange of foresight is imperative.

The wondrous factor about music is that it is a subjective experience. One can take and leave what they want from a vibration. That is the beauty of it. Through this impactful conversation, both Einstein and Tagore capture the fundamental notion of ‘questioning’. Questioning a higher power, seeking knowledge and gaining an inner truth. This divine live display of internal education and external rhythm was a stunning ode to their legacy.

Ansuman Biswas performs again this Thursday 24 October in Reading Between the Lines, an interactive talk drawing together the many strands of Tagore’s legacy into a recommendation for action. Biswas will talk, sing, and play a variety of musical instruments, leading people through an active process of meditation, contemplation and vocalisation.

By Alicia Melanie

Alicia Melanie is a Fine Art student at Middlesex University whose interests include art, culture and travel. Read more blog posts by Melanie on her own blog, The Visual Life.

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‘History/Matter’ at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos

Tessa Jackson,  Iniva’s Chief Executive, participates in History/Matter at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos

CCA, Lagos presents the second edition of its international art programme created with the aim of filling a gap in the art education curricula in Nigeria and other African countries, concentrating on critical methodologies and histories that underpin artistic practice. The programme takes place from 30 April–26 May 2012.

Using the format of part art workshop, part residency, and part art academy, over the course of a month, History/Matter will focus partially on technique and primarily on methodology, critical thinking, the implementation of conceptual ideas as well as the development and role of curatorial practice. Continuing within the parameters of engaging the past in the present, History/Matter encourages the consideration of the discursive nature of ‘History’ not simply in terms of past events, narratives, and occurrences but also, and primarily, as it relates to the present.

Tessa Jackson will participate in the programme of sessions including a series of lectures, seminars, portfolio reviews, and group crits alongside several artists and curators including: El Anatsui (NIG/GH); Candice Breitz (SA/GER); Tam Fiofori (NIG); Kianga Ford (US); Abdellah Karroum (MOR); Simone Leigh (US); Amilcar Packar (BR); Simon Njami (FR/CAM); J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere (NIG); Shane Aslan Selzer (US); and Kofi Settordji (GH) and more.

The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is an independent, non-profit visual art organisation founded in December 2007 to provide a platform for the development, presentation, and discussion of contemporary visual art and culture.

Read more on Eflux:

Labour Relations: learning about the mill workers’ struggles

Inivator Tara Brown discovers the plight of the mill workers in Mumbai

I was kindly invited to the Labour relations discussion and workshop – this was led by Iniva’s curator Grant Watson and Neera Adarkar, an amazing woman who has been involved in the urban struggles of the mill workers in Mumbai.

I rushed in 15 minutes late, to watch a film on YouTube about the decline of the mills in Mumbai and the anxieties the workers had, including their living space, and the financial future for their children.

When the film had ended, the lights came back on and everyone could introduce themselves. The majority of people were involved in textiles and industry in some way, as artists, practitioners or working within charities that involved crafts, and people (like me) generally interested about the exhibition and issues it highlighted. There were also people who had come from industrial towns where mining used to be the local economy. The workshop was more like a discussion, salon-style presentation as Neera talked about the history of the struggles, highlighting the essential conflict between declining industries, civil rights and urban planning.

Showing a map of the mill lands in Mumbai, and how the classes organised themselves, Neera told us about how globalisation moved the mills away from Mumbai to other parts of the world and the resulting land grab where there was an alliance of civil rights activists, feminists, environmental rights groups and mill workers against the mill owners. The empty factories gave rise to a creative middle class who used them as galleries and creative spaces, before the factories were sold off as the land in Mumbai became more prosperous.

I couldn’t help but see some parallels to Shoreditch, where there are so many galleries and creative projects in a factory/industrial setting, along with waves of middle class people and rising prices pushing old industries out of the city. I had discovered with many others during the Social Archive project with Shiraz Bayjoo, where we talked to new and old businesses in the area.

Further parallels were also found when talking about towns in Britain such as within Lancashire and Paisley, where the towns had suffered following the decline of the mills. Young people in Mumbai, Lancashire and Paisley were all leaving the towns they grew up in, towns that resembled each other, with the universal towers and shapes of the factory – these places in France, India and Britain all resembled each other in images in the slide-show; the group were surprised and intrigued by that. It clearly presented that the themes of urban change and poverty were universal and through uniting on issues like these, it’s far easier to understand people along these lines.

It brings to mind the last lines of the song played in the youtube video: “Oh brother, for how long will you watch?”

For now, it’s the last week of the Social Fabric exhibition, so have a look and let me know in the comments if you see what I see…

Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal

 The Militant Image, Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal – by Tara Brown
Art is great – it can serve you with underwhelming and overpowering emotions. It can also help you notice and challenge perceptions that you may have never thought about. I’ve had one of those rare moments; a moment where I’ve learnt about something I’ve known absolutely nothing about. Before Tuesday 29 November, I did not know that Portugal had had a fascist military state, let alone that the people of Portugal had started a revolution of their own from 1974 that lasted for around two years. It’s been called the last revolution in Europe, and American filmmaker Robert Kramer may have realised this in his decision to produce Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal, released in 1977. Themes that often crop up in Iniva’s programmes are explored in the film, such as economics, human rights, and politics.

Watching the film with its fantastic Portuguese music in the background, I got to see the daily struggle of the people as they stormed the streets, reclaiming and occupying public spaces as citizens and united workers. They occupied schools, factories, and public spaces, working together as a team. With the term ‘occupy’ so prevalent this year, I wonder how many people camping in the cold and hostile streets all over the globe realise that the working heroes from Portugal had succeeded in bringing democracy to the country through this ethos?

The Marxist politics in this film are loud and undeniable. The narrative places the workers as an homogeneous mass against the bourgeois, who are never really represented in the film. There is no subjectivity within the film either – in the final notes at the end of the picture, a card has blood dripping into its message, a very unsubtle metaphor.

One of the most interesting aspects of the film was its physical quality. The curators  for this programme, Kodwo Eshun and Ros Gray, had chosen films that were unseen and hard to find. The picture is full of spots and the aesthetics are rough and overexposed – at one point, there is an interview with a soldier, whose face has been obscured to a white mask from the quality of the film. With its style and narration, militant cinema is a genre all its own and the programme at Iniva has hopefully presented its audience with new knowledge and perspectives.

*The programme has come from the publication of a special Third Text journal ‘Militant Cinema: A Cine-Geography’.Find out more about The Militant Image programme

Tara Brown is an Inivator, a member of Iniva’s Youth Advisory Board and is also currently an Education Apprentice at Whitechapel Gallery.