Gallery 31: The Voices of A Tempest 2 Dec 2022 – 19 Mar 2023 Lancaster Rooms New Wing Somerset House Strand London WC2R 1LA
Opening on 2 December at the intimate Gallery 31 space within Somerset House Studios, The Voices of A Tempest will be the next guest-curated exhibition by Anne Duffau of independent nomadic platform Announce Tuesday 1st November 2022 A—Z.
This distinctive group show features a newly commissioned collaborative installation and film from artist group Babeworld x utopian_realism, as well as two short films from Michael and Chiyan Ho, plus Tarek Lakhrissi. A—Z presents works that focus on deconstructing racist and sexist structures and generating an alternative reading of history that centres personal experiences. The emphasis is placed not only on the audiences’ own relation to the works but also on the activist practice of presenting politically engaged work and aligning with modes of resistance, resilience and alternative futures.
In response to the research of 1940s poet and politician Aimé Césaire, whose plays and poems critiqued colonialism, including his version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the works in The Voices of A Tempest make references to classic, or cult genres from sci-fi to slashers, invoking fictional activism through their storytelling.
French artist and poet Tarek Lakhrissi engages with transformative narratives within language, magic and politics in relation to bodies. His utopian short film Out of The Blue turns the sci-fi alien invasion trope on its head to empower the Queer community, where the minority becomes the new ruler of Earth.
Multi-disciplinary duo Michael and Chiyan Ho’s work explores issues pertaining to the Chinese diaspora, cultural mismatch and subsequently cultural (re)discovery. In Empty Orchestra, the duo reappropriate a music video of Paula Tsui (a Cantopop singer from Hong Kong) to address censorship via an eerie, blurry karaoke-style version of the video in which the viewer is invited to partake in the sing-along poem.
Babeworld (Ash Williams, Ingrid Banerjee Marvin, Gabriella Davies, and Caitlin Chase) seeks to create a more representative art world with an emphasis on collaboration and co-creation. utopian_realism (aka Alessandro Moroni) focuses on concepts of nostalgia cycles, controlled escapism, commodified utopian narratives and collapsing myths of progress.
Newly commissioned by Somerset House Studios for the exhibition, Babeworld x utopian_realism’s analogue short film, soundscape and ‘bloody’ installation. Derby Day is a violent investigation into the art world with a critical eye on intersectionality. The piece explores the expectations for artists from perceived marginalised groups to create and collaborate in ways that are predominantly gratifying for those who benefit from these systems.
Throughout the exhibition’s run, A—Z will host The Voices of A Tempest in Three Acts, a series of programmes comprising of readings, screenings, performances and discussions in the Lancaster Rooms. The artists involved include Michelle Williams Gamaker, Philomene Pirecki, Peter Spanjer, Chooc Ly Tan, Sarah Howe & JJ Chan, Jennifer Martin, Mohammed Rowe, Guy Ronen, Murat Adash, Matt Carter, Josh Woolford, Tarek Lakhrissi and Jeanie Crystal.
On 7th December, Act I: Release, will have Babeworld introduce Derby Day with the night concluding with meditative live sets that build from a crescendo to upbeat from utopian_realism and Mohammed Rowe. On 24th January, Act II: Embrace will have live sets from Guy Ronen and Matt Carter, screenings of films by Murat Adash and Michelle Williams Gamaker, a reading with Sarah Howe and JJ Chan, and Philomene Pirecki closing the night with a DJ set.
The third and last event of the programme, on 18th March, Act III: You Make Me Feel celebrates desire and positivity with performances by Josh Woolford and Tarek Lakhrissi, screenings of films by Peter Spanjer and Jennifer Martin, and DJ sets from Chooc Ly Tan and Jeanie Crystal.
In addition to these events, Somerset House Studios continues its own Grounding Practice programme with A—Z in February, in which Anne Duffau will be hosting a workshop on the notions of world-building and science fiction to imagine other possibilities.
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