fbpx Nikita Gale, SOME WEATHER | CIRCA 2021




1-30 June, CIRCA 2021

Los Angeles-based artist Nikita Gale summons a storm of colour and light to London, Seoul and Tokyo, shifting the urban climates in a major new commission that marks the CIRCA programme’s expansion from their home on Piccadilly Lights, now broadcast across screens in two new cities. Curated in collaboration with Chisenhale Gallery, London, directed by Zoé Whitley, Gale’s series of four films titled ‘SOME WEATHER’ spotlights the creative labour of Black women whose voices feature in some of rock music’s most acclaimed recordings, from the Rolling Stones to David Bowie. Four films — ‘Heat’, ‘Fog’, ‘Blizzard’, and ‘Rain’ — featured throughout June 2021, appeared daily with the unpredictability of weather patterns. Each took on a different radiant hue, employing the immensity of these cities’ advertising screens to shift the atmosphere of their respective urban settings.

In SOME WEATHER, the singers’ voices, their physical presence, and the context of their original performances blur. Each film features archival footage of background singers rendered unrecognisable, manipulated to such a degree that their images exceed the scale of easy consumption.

The artist asks us to consider what capacity such monumental screenings have to change the atmosphere of their surroundings. In a vivid haze of immersive geo-engineering, the artist re-orientates audiences to the unsung contributions of backing vocalists. Adopting writer Toni Morrison’s use of the term ‘weather’ in Beloved, Gale describes ‘weather’ as “the slippery space between bodies and atmosphere where breath joins the wind, sweat joins the ocean, and so forth. The image of these performing figures is obscured and transformed in such a way that they become visual representations of some types of weather: heat, fog, rain, and snow.” They can be experienced for a brief moment but remain ultimately inscrutable.

Gale’s work straddles image and text, memory and identity. Through explorations of human beings and their invisible yet indispensable labour, the artist reveals the inner-workings of creative production and processes of achieving innovation. In spring 2022 Chisenhale Gallery will present the first UK solo exhibition by Gale as part of their Commissions Programme.


Nikita Gale (born 1983) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Nikita holds a BA in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeological Studies from Yale University and an MFA in New Genres from UCLA. Gale’s work applies the lenses of material culture and sound studies to consider how authority is negotiated within political, social, and economic systems. The artist has exhibited with various national and international institutions, including MoMA PS1; The Studio Museum in Harlem (USA); Cubitt (UK); Nottingham Contemporary (UK); Ceysson & Benetiere (France); and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (USA). Nikita serves on the Board of Directors for Grex, the West Coast affiliate of the AK Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems. Gale’s work has been featured in various publications including Mousse, Texte Zur Kunst, The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Art21, Frieze, Vogue, and Flash Art.