Nikita Gale, SOME WEATHER (Rain), 2021
Hi Zoé. It’s a pleasure to collaborate with Chisenhale Gallery as part of CIRCA’s c.20:21 programme this month, in the creation of new work by artist Nikita Gale. We’d like to start by asking what it is about Nikita’s practice that you felt was so fitting for this commission?
Collaboration is at the heart of how we commission and produce new works of art at Chisenhale, so the feeling is very much mutual working with CIRCA. Your past collaborators The Showroom, Whitechapel and Serpentine are our wonderful institutional colleagues and we work together in various ways. Some of the artists you’ve worked with, such as Cauleen Smith, are dear friends.
Nikita’s practice came to my attention some years ago when I was researching how visual artists are using sound in innovative ways. I read an essay she had written about how sound underpins her relationship with an audience; in that text, I was introduced to the theories of Prof. Kate Lacey who has written really accessibly about the role of media broadcasts in times of social crisis and the idea of listening as a cultural force. Nikita was already using sound as a sculptural material, making engrossing installations about how we interact in the public sphere and how we respond to the physical presence (or absence) of sound. I immediately knew this would be an exciting collaboration…
Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics by Joy James, 1999
Shadowboxing presents an explosive analysis of the history and practice of black feminisms, drawing upon political theory, history, and cultural studies in a sweepingly interdisciplinary work. Joy James charts new territory by synthesizing theories of social movements with cultural and identity politics. She brings into the spotlight images of black female agency and intellectualism in radical and anti-radical political contexts. From a comparative look at Ida B. Wells, Ella Baker, Angela Davis, and Assata Shakur to analyses of the black woman in white cinema and the black man in feminist coalitions, she focuses attention on the invisible or the forgotten. James convincingly demonstrates how images of powerful women are either consigned to oblivion or transformed into icons robbed of intellectual power. Shadowboxing honors and analyzes the work of black activists and intellectuals and, along the way, redefines the sharp divide between intellectual work and political movements. A daringly original study, this book changes what it means to be American.
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