Britishness, belonging and Blackness: artists reflect on complexities of cultural identity in new London show – The Art Newspaper
8 February 2021
Eleven Black non-binary and women artists based in the UK will exhibit works that reflect on the complex question of Black identity in the UK. The show, titled 'An Infinity of Traces', is due to open at Lisson Gallery in London next month (18 March-29 May; Covid-19 restrictions permitting). The exhibition will aim to provide new insights into the loaded issue of Britain’s imperial past, examining a myriad of issues from queer sexuality to marginalised histories, held against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“These artists are working from a presumption of complexity when it comes to an understanding of Britishness, belonging and Blackness in that there is no singular narrative to a national story or cultural identity,” says the exhibition’s curator Ekow Eshun.
“They work from nuance, multiplicity and contradiction. That presumption informs the title of the show, but also we see how they thread together different themes which are sometimes to do with cultural identity, with notions of gender, with the body—they understand all of those as intersecting,” he says.
The exhibition is presented in parallel with the British artist John Akomfrah’s exhibition, 'The Unintended Beauty of Disaster' (18 March-29 May), which includes a new three-screen video installation alongside a series of new photo-text works. An Infinity of Traces expands on themes linked to Black identity developed by Akomfrah who has tackled issues ranging from colonialism to the fate of migrant diasporas worldwide since the early 1980s.
Read the full piece in The Art Newspaper.
Image: Rhea Storr, Here is the Imagination of the Black Radical (2020, film still).