Wandering/ Wilding: Blackness on the Internet @ IMT (-Curated by Legacy Russell)
ZM - 11th Dec 2016
I guess I should start this review by saying that I don't typically vibe with the way group shows are. I like a room to feel like a solid thing. I like it when artists are able to create mood and atmosphere and I think those conditions demand a particular kind of singularity. So on the whole I used to think I preferred the format and the aura of special-ness of a solo show. (Maybe just a singularity in the sense it feels like it needs to be unified?) However, I went to another group show a few weeks ago, curated by C.R.E.A.M., and it was well balanced and the tone was so nice I found myself really liking it despite my bias against group shows. So starting out by sayin props and giving credit where it's due: it's a difficult thing to merge and force all different works by different ppl into a room and expect them to chat to each other.
The first room was so so bluey-purple it felt like being underwater lol. It was all taken at a slower pace too; I felt like I slowed down from the way I was outside on the pavement on the way from the station. The lights ~ the feel ~ the mood ~ made me all the more willing to look and observe to let it all pass me by. And, I always think it’s hard to reconcile having so many screens in a room, all inhabiting and contributing to the same space, breathing the same air. It was good, the way the works all speak amongst themselves in each others' presence; they were so well behaved. And can I just say how nice it is to see familiar faces in gallery spaces when those faces aren’t white men. My god, I felt something like pride. Evan Ifekoya’s video: ‘Cowboy, Native, Other Or, How We Mistook The Man or Territory’ was set up like a shrine or a monument, it felt so present and it set a tone in the room that was kind of sombre, but in a kinda respectful way? It felt like being at the temple, I was in awe and at home. The lights ~ the feel ~ the mood ~ it all had an effect and I scrolled down.
The second room was way more stark and it felt precarious. I guess I’m very aware of lighting at the moment; I felt overexposed. I wobbled. Everything was so high up: as I walked through there was a painting on the wall a couple feet above my head, the screen was mounted higher, a projector was balanced dangerously on a spiral staircase pointed at where the wall meets ceiling. I don’t wear heels, but when I do::::::: this is how I feel. Like I’m tottering around, about to fall. I’d left the comfort and relative warmth of the first room and I was unstable. Everything moved too quick for me to catch it. This was on purpose; I’m absolutely sure of it.
I wrote about a talk I went to a few weeks ago [link] about this show. In the handout is an amazing essay by Aria Dean RE: the black flâneur, the black flâneur in the Outside, in public space. The ghost and shadow of Threat exacted upon black bodies in public space. That text, I feel, ended before I came to any point. Although I’m ok with an unfinished ending, I feel like I came to this show and FELT what I was trying to put into words with that text. It was so SO strange, and I still don’t know how to put it into words now. But maybe that’s ok. Maybe this feeling is just me understanding something. It’s just for me.
Wandering Wilding closes today! It's on @ IMT and if you're East u should prolly check it out, it goes nicely with Sunday gallery hopping. It'll grab u nicely.