April Newsletter

Left to right: Ingrid Pollard, Zanele Muholi and Lerato Dumse visiting Making Histories Visible archives.

Last month was marked by the visit of acclaimed South African LGBTI visual activist Zanele Muholi who gave a lecture at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, as part of the Making Histories Visible project and Distinguished Visitor Programme. The event led to a number of interesting encounters and hopefully the beginning of fruitful conversations with artists such as Ingrid Pollard, Helen Cammock and Evan Ifekoya, to name but a few. Zanele Muholi, accompanied by journalist and Inkanyiso editor Lerato Dumse also visited UCLan’s Centre for Contemporary Art where Making Histories Visible holds a unique archive focusing on Black Art and more particularly Black women artists; a resource valued by a cross-generation of artists and researchers as shown by Collective Creativity’s inquiry into the legacy of the Black Art movement (watch the video here). Organised by Evan Ifekoya and Raju Rage, Collective Creativity is a space for critical reflections on QTIPOC (Queer, Trans* and Intersex People of Colour) creative practice.

Works by Zanele Muholi from the Souls Mo(ve)ments series (2012). Installation view at New Art Exchange, Nottingham.

Muholi also discussed her photography practice at New Art Exchange, Nottingham, where her work is part of Residual: Traces of the Black Body, an exhibition presented in the context of Format 2015: International Photography Festival (until 17 Apr).
FORMAT 2015 events conclude this weekend with an interdisciplinary conference at QUAD, Derby, on Friday 10 April. Taking the festival’s theme of ‘Evidence’ as its starting point, FORMAT Conference proposes to explore the multifaceted ways in which ‘Evidence’ can be gathered, examined, re-contextualised and disseminated. The keynote speaker is Eyal Weizman, architect, Professor of Visual Cultures and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Selected speakers are Natasha Caruana, Christine Eyene, Kim Knoppers, Sarah Pickering, Stéphanie Solinas and Jonathan Wright. Also featured are a number of presentations including Bound By No Nation with Tara Darby, Delaine Le Bas and Ronke Osinowo.

Glenn Ligon, Malcolm X #1 (small version #2), 2003. Courtesy the Rodney M. Miller Collection.

As one of the nominees of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015, Zanele Muholi is back to the UK in April to attend the launch of the Deutsche Börse exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery, opening on 17 April. Her work will be exhibited alongside that of fellow nominees Nikolai Bakharev, Viviane Sassen, Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse.
And, Nottingham has more to offer with Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions, at Nottingham Contemporary, featuring the likes of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, David Hammons and Adrian Piper alongside his own work. The exhibition runs to 14 June and is accompanied by a number of public events. This month, Collective Creativity continues the discussion on the Politics of the Art School: Black Art Then and Now, with Keith Piper (30 Apr.).

In the diary: Tiwani Contemporary, London, Mythopoeia: a group exhibition gathering Mequitta Ahuja, Kapwani Kiwanga, Alida Rodrigues and Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum. The exhibition title, drawn from the Greek ‘muthopoios’ and meaning ‘composer of fiction’, points to the age-old role of storytelling and mythologising in rationalising the unknown (10 Apr – 9 May).

Maud Sulter, Les Bijoux I-IX, 2002 (detail), polaroid photographs. Source Autograph ABP.

Maud Sulter: Passion at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow: an exhibition of the Scottish-Ghanian artist, writer and curator; a pioneering figure in the field of black women visual representation. Works to be featured include the critically acclaimed series Zabat (1990), and pieces from the projects Hysteria, Syrcas and Les Bijoux. This Autograph ABP/Street Level Photoworks exhibition partnership is the outcome of a curatorial research project by Deborah Cherry, Professor of Art History at the University of the Arts London, and Deputy Director of TrAIN, and artist and curator Ajamu (25 Apr – 21 June).
In London, Autograph is presenting Whip It Good: Spinning From History’s Filthy Mind, the first UK solo exhibition by Danish-Trinidadian artist Jeannette Ehlers. A two-part project consisting of seven evening performances beginning 24 Apr at Rivington Place, followed by a seven-week exhibition, Whip it Good retraces the footsteps of colonialism and maps the contemporary reverberations of the triangular slave trade via a series of performances that will result in a body of new ‘action’ paintings (until 20 June).

Zak Ové, Culture Remix, 2013. 1970s turntable, cast Jesmonite African mask. Courtesy the artist.

Finally, coming up in June at David Roberts Art Foundation, London: All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm, the eighth edition of the DRAF Curators’ Series, with guest curator Christine Eyene (France/Cameroon). Previous participants in the series include Raimundas Malasauskas (Lithuania), Pablo Leon de la Barra (Mexico) and Natasha Ginwala (India) & Vivian Ziherl (Australia). The exhibition presents an original research into rhythmic sources in performative, material and immaterial productions within African traditional and contemporary cultures. The first exploration of this essential lineage encompasses dance, avant-garde composition, popular music and subcultures, and rhythmic video editing from the twentieth century to the present day. The exhibition encompasses writings, compositions and art pieces by Léopold Sédar Senghor, Langston Hughes, John Cage, Ayoka Chenzira and contemporary pieces by Larry Achiampong, Younès Baba-Ali, Julien Bayle, Em’Kal Eyongakpa, Evan Ifekoya, Zak Ové, Michel Paysant, Anna Raimondo, Robin Rhode, David Shrigley and William Titley.
The project will also include a live programme of dance and music performances, talks and film screenings. Find out more at David Roberts Art Foundation.

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