Artist Sonia Boyce introduces the exhibition Scat: Sound and Collaboration which runs until 27 July 2013 at Iniva.
Scat presents two immersive video works for the first time with The Devotional Collection, Boyce’s archive and collective memorialisation of black British women in the music industry. As a result, the exhibition places a spotlight on her interest in the archive as arts practice. ‘Just the very act of putting something in an archive suggests its future use is beyond the control of the past. But we don’t have to settle for the past as it is presented. The past is not fixed’.
This is the fourth in a series of films of Peter Clarke talking about his work at the Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats exhibition. Here he talks about the works he collectively calls the ‘Ghetto Fence Series’.
This is the first of six short films Peter Clarke kindly made during the opening of his retrospective, Wind Blowing on the Cape Flats at Rivington Place. In this film, he talks about his work For Some the Pathway to Education Lies Between Thorns:
“I’ve been interested in space for a very long time, since early childhood in fact. Not only that kind of space, but also the spaces that separate people. The spaces that people have to traverse. In this particular work, what inspired this one was the fact that in South Africa, in the rural areas there’s a great deal of having to walk to school. Often children travel long distances every day. Going to school and traveling back afterwards. When I for instance spent a while in a village called Tesselaarsdal in the earlier part of my career there was one group of children who walked five miles to school in the morning and then walked the five miles back after school. So I was seeking out the difficulties involved in gaining an education. And so the title eventually came to me for this particular one, For Some the Pathway to Education Lies Between Thorns.”
“This is a lino-cut print. It is a reduction lino-cut print. What I mean by reduction is I draw on the block, cut very carefully. I’ve already decided in my mind that this is going to be a five colour block print…a five colour print…and so I cut the block and I ink for the first stage, print it, then I cut it further, ink it a different colour, printed it and so on, until I’ve completed the block. I’ve completed the block and what will remain over on the block so what has printed the darkest colour here. It is actually a very simple process, but I’ve felt with many adult artists that I’ve spoken to about print making, they haven’t the foggiest idea what I’m talking about until I actually show them how it is done.”
Iniva’s Stuart Hall Library have compiled a special bibliography for the occasion of Stuart Hall’s 80th birthday last week.
Stuart Hall and Rivington Place
This bibliography is based on a collection of materials available in the library, by/about cultural theorist and sociologist, Stuart Hall. Though not a comprehensive list, it provides the reader with a wide range of Hall’s ideas and concerns, such as hegemony, Marxism and cultural studies, and notions of identity, cultural identity and race. Read the bibliography here.
More about Stuart Hall
Stuart Hall was born in February 1932 in Kingston, Jamaica. He is a cultural theorist and sociologist who has lived and worked in the UK since 1951. He was one of the founding figures of the school of thought that is now known as British Cultural Studies.
He was President of the British Sociological Association 1995-1997 and joined the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University in 1964. While at the Centre, Hall is credited with playing a role in expanding the scope of cultural studies to deal with race and gender, and with helping to incorporate new ideas derived from the work of French theorists. He left the centre in 1979 to become a professor of sociology at the Open University until 1997 and is now a Professor Emeritus.
Stuart Hall and Iniva/ Autograph ABP
Stuart Hall in Iniva's Stuart Hall Library at Rivington Place
Until 2008 Stuart Hall was chair of Iniva (The Institute of International Visual Arts) and Autograph ABP (The Association of Black Photographers) and on the team of the Lottery project to build Rivington Place a culturally-diverse visual arts centre in London.
Born in Pinar del Río in 1977, Yoan Capote lives and works in Havana. He is exhibiting in the Cuban Pavillion at the 54th International Art Exhibition.
For this artwork artist created molds of real bones with provenance from different dead people and after reproduced in wax each one, adjusting them and creating the representation of a new subject in that sculpture. The weight of the concrete is used like a symbolic element. Equilibrium is as a metaphor of struggle and resistance.
Capote contributed work to Iniva’s States of Exchange exhibition in 2008 at Rivington Place. Selected by Iniva’s curator at the time Cylena Simonds and prominent Cuban curator Gerardo Mosquera, the group show focused on six artists living and working in Cuba. The work offered a witty, scathing and provocative response to scarcity and constraint, raising issues of global relevance.
Yoan Capote, Dinero bilingüe / Bilingual Money, 2002. Photograph courtesy of the artist
Accompanying the exhibition there is a full-colour illustrated catalogue which is still available from our website.
Both artists participate in ArtSway’s New Forest Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia 2011
The exhibition runs from 4 June – 26 June 2011 and features artists Gayle Chong Kwan and Hew Locke, who have recently worked with Iniva, alongside Dave Lewis, Mike Marshall, Christopher Orr and Sophy Rickett.
ArtSway’s New Forest Pavilion is an offiicial collateral event for the exhibition at this year’s Venice Bienniale and features a number of new commissions. Each artist explores ideas relating to nationhood, ecology and landscape as seen within a modern global context. It looks like an interesting exhibition to visit if you are lucky enough to be in Venice this month!
Gayle Chong Kwan, Tait Tower (The Obsidian Isle series), C-type print, 2010/11. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Alberta Pane, Paris
Gayle Chong Kwan’s installation for ArtSway’s exhibition, The Obsidian Isle, explores ideas of collective history, the senses and memory, national identity, landscape and tourism. Chong Kwan documents an island which houses the lost and destroyed places of her native Scotland, referencing the 18th century fictionalized epic of Ossian, as well as her Mauritian heritage, an island whose landscape is being theatricalised and consumed through the global tourist industry.
Chong Kwan works with photography, video, sound, installation, and performance and weaves together documentary and fantastical approaches to explore ideas of collective and individual memory, history and expanded notions of and frustration between the senses.
Chong Kwan worked with Iniva most recently in summer 2010, creating an installation ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’ for our Whose Map is it? New Mapping by Artists exhibiton. Her audio installation included clips from people interviewed about dancing the Rumba and was accompanied by a map of the movement and origins of the dance across the world, as well as dance cards for the more adventurous visitors who fancied trying it out for themselves.
Save the Last Dance for Me (detail), Gayle Chong Kwan, 2010
Watch a video of Gayle speaking about this installation on our YouTube channel, where you can also find a 3 part series of the artist talking at Rivington Place about her previous work and practice in general as well.
Also participating in ArtSway’s exhibition is Hew Locke. Locke’s recent commission for ArtSway -Starchitect- is an installation constructed from cut and painted plywood sheets, featuring sculptural objects which for La Biennale is condensed into one room, presented as a ‘treasury’, linking to the former colonial standing of Venice.
Hew Locke, Starchitect (ArtSway), 2011. Courtesy the artist and Hales Gallery, London.
Globalisation and ‘Britishness’ are recurring themes in his work. Born in Scotland, Locke spent his early years in newly independent Guyana – a former British colony that was attempting to find its place in the international community. His work focuses on notions of loss of power and prestige, particularly in light of the recent economic downturn.
Locke exhibited Kingdom of the Blind with Iniva at Rivington Place in 2008, where he combined formal and thematic elements of his practice to create his first ever ‘museum display’ – a fictional collection of the possessions of an imaginary ruler. The installation combined a carnivalesque frieze of monumental figures (reaching up to 14 ft tall) with an elaborate backdrop of wall drawings. Depicting this fictional leader’s rise to power, Locke’s figures acted out victorious moments in battle and resemble elaborate votive objects – composed of intricate combinations of fake leather handbags, miniature plastic animals, doll parts, sequins, chains and fake weaponry.
In this exhibition, Locke’s allusions to the language of contemporary dictatorships and war assume a powerful commentary on our national cultural institutions and their relationship to the modern constructs of history and society, cultural identity and national pride.
Nasreen Mohamedi, Glenbarra Art Museum Collection, Japan
Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990) is regarded as one of the most important Indian artists of her generation, and her paintings, drawings and photographs, produced from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, constitute a key body of work within the modernist canon. Mohamedi studied in London and Paris during the late 1950s and early 60s, and then returned to India to teach.
Her drawings from the late 1970s onwards tend toward the resolutely abstract, they intimate cultural references, which become explicit in her photographs – in which historical architecture suggests an aesthetic link to both modernisation and an Islamic heritage. In Mohamedi’s diaries, made over a period of thirty years, textual and graphic interventions also attest to the close links between her inner life and her practice as an artist.
Nasreen Mohamedi, Drawing, 2000; Untitled, 2000
In 2000, her work was included in Iniva’s exhibiton, Drawing Space which brought together the work of three contemporary Indian artists, Nasreen Mohamedi, Sheela Gowda and N.S.Harsha (Both Harsha and Gowda have had recent exhibitions with Iniva at Rivington Place). Each artist’s practice encompasses visual forms from the West filtered through an Indian sensibility and uses the drawn line as a device for negotiating space in ways that are self-empowering, exploring the complexity of making and exhibiting work in an increasingly global context. A publication also called Drawing Space: Contemporary Indian Drawing was produced to support the exhibition.
Photographer Leticia Valverdes creates a project exploring wedding dresses from the past, and their wearers.
I hope you weren’t thinking that royal wedding fever was over…! Leticia Valverdes has created a topical project which is certainly an interesting and thought-provoking look at one of the most important aspects of any couple’s big day – the dress.
Photograph by Leticia Valverdes
Wedding dresses can be a reflection of both the bride and current fashions. For this (still ongoing) project, The Wedding Dress, the artist asked women who married more than three decades ago to be photographed wearing their old wedding dresses. Garments carry memories, particularly wedding dresses which are worn at a special time and which can embody the hopes of so many women for their lives and futures. The artist says, “For a few hours this dress, whatever color or design, makes its model once more the center of attention, brings moments of intimacy and memories, dreams and visions.”
Leticia’s work explores notions of identity, self esteem, belonging, memory and dreams and concentrates on interactions with people. She worked with Iniva onLondon Is The Place For Mein 2007, an exhibition exploring migration through photography and moving image. The exhibition was organised jointly by Iniva and Autograph ABP to mark the opening of Rivington Place and also featured artists Mona Hatoum, Keith Piper and Harold Offeh.
Originally from Brazil, she studied Fine Art at London Metropolitan University. Her work has featured in a number of group and solo shows in the UK and abroad.
Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco is one of today´s best-known performance-artists and is often concerned with gender-specific conflicts, migration, cultural colonisation. Fusco has performed and curated throughout America and internationally, and currently is the Chair of the Fine Art Department at Parsons The New School for Design. Her recent work combines electronic media and performance and much of her work she draws on her Cuban heritage, using language performance and multimedia to explore issues of difference and cutural politics.
A recent example of a performance/ monologue by Fusco is A Room of One’s Own, which explores the expanding role of American women in the ‘War on Terror’. She raises questions about feminism in the 21st century and the ways that political conservatives have appropriated the language of women’s liberation, while also drawing attention to how detention and prisoner abuse led to a reconsideration of the possible legitimacy of torture under the Bush administation.
Fusco published The Bodies that Were Not Ours with Iniva in 2001. This (now sold out) publication gathers together Coco Fusco’s finest writings since 1995, as well as essays, interviews, performance scripts and fotonovelas which take readers on a tour of a ’multicultural landscape’, accompanied by critical introductory essays by Jean Fisher and Caroline Vercoe. There is an audio recording of the artist in conversation with John Akomfrah in Iniva’s digital archive, where the artist discusses the publication and the direction and future of debates around post-colonial cultural discourse.
Coco Fusco will participate in Iniva’s current lecture series, the Keyword Lectures, discussing the term ‘resistance’ with academic Sara Ahmed on May 12 – find out more about this event here.