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A series of artist films foregrounding contemporary artists and directors whose work explores cultural identity through moving image portraits centred on the abstracted and politicised body as a conveyor of lived experience.

Ayo Akingbade, Tower XYZ, 2016, 3 minutes, courtesy of the artist
Accompanied by a lilting soundtrack, characters wander through London’s concrete jungle as the narrator reflects on the current state of the city and her imagined future.

‘In Tower XYZ I wanted to feature my experience of living in Hackney and document London’s ever-changing landscape. I wondered if I did not capture it, would people know of an African fabric shop called Afrique Fabrics that once shone majestically on Kingsland High Street for many years? I wanted to see myself and my community represented in a way that was authentic.’ – Ayo Akingbade

Hannah Black, My Bodies, 2014, 3 minutes, courtesy of the artist and Arcadia Missa, London
‘I wanted to say something about how there is no generic body, no such thing as “the body”; bodies are raced, gendered, and assisted differently in the world. I collected images of white business executives, and you hear the voices of African-American female singers—Aaliyah, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, and many others—all singing the phrase “my body.’ – Hannah Black

Rhea Storr, A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message, 2018, 12 minutes, courtesy of the artist 
Celebration is protest at Leeds West Indian Carnival. A look at forms of authority, A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message asks who is really performing. Following Mama Dread’s, a troupe whose carnival theme is Caribbean immigration to the UK, we are asked to consider the visibility of black bodies, particularly in rural spaces.

The films will be screened on a loop in our Basement during opening hours on Thursday 16 – Sunday 19 May, Thursday 23 – Sunday 26 May, and Thursday 30 – Friday 31 May. Free, drop in

Ayo Akingbade

Ayo Akingbade is an artist and film director based in London. Her film 'Tower XYZ' (2016) received a Special Mention Award at International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and won the inaugural Sonja Savic Award at Alternative Film/Video Festival, Belgrade. Akingbade has since produced three new films. 'Street 66' (2018) which premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam and 'A is for Artist' (2018) which premiered in the Experimenta strand at BFI London Film Festival. 'Dear Babylon' (2019) will complete the social housing trilogy and is due to premiere in mid 2019. She is a recipient of the Sundance Ignite Fellowship (2018) and exhibited in Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2018). Ayo is a graduate of London College of Communication and is currently studying at Royal Academy Schools.

Hannah Black

Hannah Black is an artist and writer from the UK, living and working in New York. Her works have been recently exhibited at mumok, Vienna; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Real Fine Arts, New York; Arcadia Missa, London; Château Shatto, Los Angeles; W139, Amsterdam; Performance Space, New York in 2019 and Centre d'art contemporain Geneva (2018). Readings and performance have taken place at the Centre D’Art Contemporain, Geneva; the New Museum, Interstate Projects and Cage, New York; the Whitechapel Gallery, the Showroom, and Café Oto, London.

Rhea Storr

Rhea Storr makes work about black and mixed-race identities, asking where images fail or resist us. She often works on 16mm film. Recent screenings include National Museum of African American History and Culture, US, European Media Art Festival, Hamburg International Short Film Festival, Kassel Doc Fest, Berwick Film and Media Art Festival and Aesthetica Short Film Festival. She is the winner of the inaugural Louis Le Prince Experimental Film Prize and is exhibiting as part of the upcoming group exhibition ‘Get Up, Stand Up Now’, Somerset House, London.