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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

Exploring Becoming the Other

Central Saint Martins student Eva Cookney on Becoming The Other, an exhibition exploring ethnography/anthropology within artistic practice that she participated in at Rivington Place this May.


In his text, ‘Artist as Ethnographer?’, Hal Foster discusses a turn to ‘quasi-anthropological’ concerns within art, meaning an art practice that has culture, people or communities as the subject.This text was our starting point in the lead up to putting together the exhibition ‘Becoming the Other’. The project was a collaboration between Central Saint Martins and Iniva, led by artist and lecturer Erika Tan and Director of Education at Iniva, Teresa Cisneros. After reading this chapter from Hal Foster’s essay, we spent the first few weeks researching different examples of ethnographic art practice using the Stuart Hall library at Iniva. We started to think about some of the formats of the work we were looking at and how some artists played with the assumed authenticity in works presented as factual or biographical.

When we came together with our ideas for the exhibition, we had many different formats such as film; installation; sculpture; performance and painting but we were all interested in a similar theme. We came up with the title ‘Becoming the Other’ because each of us was making a piece of work that looked at the idea of representation. Some of the work was about something or someone imaginary in a believable format, such as Moea Creugnet’s film ‘From An Island’ which was a half documentary-style, half-poetic film about an exotic island or Victoria Rick and Hanqing Miao’s Facebook page for ‘Mary-Ann Smith’ which visitors were invited to play on; posting photos and statuses, adding friends and sending private messages. Other work looked at the our personal identities and cultures such as Cheryl Khol’s film ‘Notes from my Mind’ which she described as an “anthropological self-reflective study” of herself where she looked at what it meant to investigate herself as the subject of her own anthropological study.

When the audience came into the exhibition space, they were invited to move around the room, interacting with and investigating everything; trying to fit into Sara Graça’s strangely shaped clothes and taking selfies in a mirror; listen to a poem by Susana Uvida, read excerpts from the script of ‘An interview with the artists’, a performance by Eva Cookney where all eleven of the artists where represented under one persona by Eva in an interview about the exhibition; and then get comfortable on Minami Takahashi’s handmade, stuffed pizza installation to contemplate paintings by Cheryl Kohl and Asuka Anastasia Ogawa,  watch Moea Creugnet’s film and read ‘Authentic Translations’, a book put together by Rachel Wallace & Tania Olivares with transcriptions of each of the artists talking about themselves for two minutes without direction, with all cultural signifiers such as names and places blocked out.

You can find out more about the exhibition here.

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Issa Samb preview photos

Thanks to everyone who made it along to the launch of our exhibition Issa Samb: From the Ethics of Acting to the Empire Without Signs this week. Here are a a few photos from the evening, which included a performance from the artist himself.

Exhibition continues until 26 July.



All photos by Christa Holka

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BITERS – Video interview with Larry Achaimpong and David Blandy

Iniva are excited to have a new project installed in our Education Space from 3 June – 3 July 2014. Artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy discuss the project in this short video clip filmed in their East London studio.

Through this project the artists examine the possibility for truthful, authentic experience via the popular cultures that have influenced them. They investigate what identity might mean in the post-colonial and post-mass media age by exploring history, recycling already-sampled beats and reciting stolen rhymes.

Installation open to the public Thur-Sat


Find out more about the project here
A talk and performance accompany the installation.

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On Borrowed Time(s) – Photography student Wilf on his first public exhibition

By Wilf Speller, University of Westminster MA Photographic Studies Student

Iniva’s commitment to emerging artists has always made it one of the most exciting gallery spaces to visit in London and so to have the opportunity to exhibit there this year as part of the group exhibition On Borrowed Time(s) was a dream come true. On Borrowed Time(s) showcases the work of students and alumni from MA Photographic Studies, University of Westminster, one of three selected academic institutions Iniva is working with for the year 2014. The exhibition responds to Burak Delier’s exhibition, Freedom Has No Script, and explores the paradoxical and contradictory logic of capitalism as manifest in the art world, corporate and consumer cultures.

The opportunity to exhibit ones work is always incredibly valuable but working with Iniva proved to be much more than just a showcase of our work. Personally this was my first exhibition outside of the context of my own academic institution and despite my own lack of experience it was fantastic to be treated with such respect. Each decision, from producing the work and hanging it to creating the framework of the exhibition; the statements, catalogue and marketing, was a constructive conversation between the artists, the curator and Iniva and the end result was much more than the some of the individual work. It was also a fantastic rehearsal for putting together our final postgraduate show, On Transience, which will open at Ambika P3 on 2nd September. As well as this collaborative process the exhibition was also a great opportunity to think individually about our work.

From the moment we pitched our ideas to the carefully considered presentation and hanging of the work we were developing discourses around our own work which we had the opportunity to voice and discuss in the talk which accompanied the exhibition, Disruptions: On Photography and Capitalism. This opportunity was an incredible platform to speak about our work in a professional manner but also to engage with people outside our normal circles about our work. This public engagement was also a great opportunity to develop not just the presentation of our work but our own presentation as artists, an incredibly valuable lesson in our professional development. The value of real art world experience such as this insurmountable and something I’ll never forget.

Iniva’s Education Curator Teresa Cisneros said of the participating artists, ‘the group were very professional – they did research and responded to the themes in Burak Delier’s exhibition really well. I was really impressed and happy to work with them.’

Find out more about Iniva’s professional development programme and work with universities.

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Video Clip: Burak Delier on ‘The Deal’

In The Deal Burak Delier persuades his gallery to take a bank loan and then gives the money to a trader. The trader has 20 days to try to turn a profit on the market and if he does, he can keep the money and if not Delier keeps the money – a kind of bet, which Delier documents in order to make his artwork. This work can be seen as a game of finance infiltrating art. The artist does not decipher how banks or the stock market exploit us, he makes us aware of the whole system, by reminding us of the system’s very character.

Find out more about the exhibition here

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Vox Pops: Freedom has no script

Burak Delier: Freedom has no script

Exhibition visitors tell us what they think about the exhibition in this short video clip. Exhibition continues until 17 May 2014.

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Burak Delier video interview

Burak Delier explains his exhibition title ‘Freedom has no script’ in this short video clip



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Burak Delier – exhibition installation shots

With Burak Delier’s exhibition Freedom has no script launching tomorrow evening (25 March), the gallery has been very busy with the installation. Here are a few snaps – a sneak peek at the exhibition before it opens.

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Tagore Archive: the letter renouncing his knighthood

by Paddy Chatterton, Iniva’s Head of Development

“The time has come when badges of honour make our shame glaring in their incongruous context of humiliation, and I for my part wish to stand, shorn of all special distinctions, by the side of my country men.”

So wrote Rabindranath Tagore in 1919 to Lord Chelmsford, Viceroy of India, as he explained his reasons for renouncing the knighthood that had been awarded him by Britain some 4 years earlier. The event that had spurred him to this decision was, by all accounts, a ruthlessly violent reaction by the British Army to a small uprising (Tagore refers to them as “local disturbances”) in the Punjab.

You can read the full letter as part of the special Tagore archive in the education space at Rivington Place for our current exhibition, Tagore’s Universal Allegories. It is without doubt one of the most beautiful, distraught, poetic and enraged texts I have ever read. Another example,

the very least that I can do for my country is to take all consequences upon myself in giving voice to the protest of the millions of my countrymen, surprised into a dumb anguish of terror”.

One can only imagine how Lord Chelmsford felt when he read the letter. It would have taken someone with an insanely inflated sense of righteousness and patriotism not to have felt remorse.

The letter leads me to think about the choice people make to renounce or refuse knighthoods, CBEs and the like. Tagore was not the first person to hand back his knighthood but he was the first from Asia (and maybe the only?). Such a form of protest, particularly from someone from ‘the colonies’, would no doubt have been seen as a hugely significant event for its time.

In comparison, Danny Boyle recently indicated that he would refuse a knighthood in recognition of his role in the Olympics because it “just doesn’t feel right”- no particular reason, just would rather not. Over the years we have had a surprisingly large number of  politicians, poets, philosophers and rock stars hand back their OBEs, MBEs and Sirhoods. John Lennon famously used the reason that his song Cold Turkey was falling down the charts. Dorris Lessing thought it a little too ironic to accept an honour from an institution she had spent her life attacking. David Bowie, French & Saunders, JG Ballard, L.S Lowry (wins the award for most honours turned down- 5 in total) – the list is almost endless…

What is surprising to me is how few of these people have declined or returned awards in direct response to a specific event or outrage. Most have taken the decision for very personal and practical reasons, rather than as a political act. Only a few have used renouncement as a form of specific political protest. Why should this be? We as a nation are not averse to making political statements and we are not so enthralled to the monarchy that we would not dare! Perhaps we believe that the act of accepting a knighthood in the first instance takes away the impact of then returning it; that the ‘badges of honour make our shame’ and we relinquish the right to criticise the establishment we so happily joined.

Either way, the more I read Tagore’s statement, the more I am affected by the outraged clarity of his argument. This is not a man choosing to respond; he is compelled to write his letter, unable to sanction any alternative. It is this that makes it so fascinating a text.

Exhibition Tagore’s Universal Allegories continues until 23 November 2013

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