Adelaide Damoah, Genesis, at 1 Bedford Avenue, London (2-30 Oct 2018)

Adelaide Damoah (7-204) presents a new and ambitious body of work exploring sexuality, gendered subjectivity and race. Simultaneously referencing and inverting Yves Klein’s 1960 performance Anthropométrie de l’époque bleue, which saw the artist use female participants as malleable ‘printmaking tools’, Damoah has instead assumed the role of living paint brush, using her own body to make painterly gestures, exerting her power as a black female artist.

The shift from male director to female protagonist has enabled Damoah to redefine how the black female body is portrayed, deconstructing stereotypes as a means of reconstructing wider socio-cultural narratives. The artist has cited David Hammons and Ana Mendieta as key influences in the production of Genesis.

The exhibition, which comprises paintings, prints and performative works, will be accompanied by a dynamic events programme, including a live streamed performance by Adelaide Damoah, democratising the way in which the work is consumed, but also interrogating the complexities of internet culture and how we connect through performance. Though the work itself is complex and multi-faceted, it has been built around a minimal palette of black and gold. Speaking of this decision, the artist explained that “black and gold have been used both for aesthetic and metaphorical reasons. Black is evoking skin colour, but also absence as a lived experience. Meanwhile, gold is referring to Ghana's historical source of wealth which gave it its colonial name (Gold Coast).”

The exhibition is presented in association with Bloomsbury Festival, a five-day celebration of the area’s pioneering creativity, built around an inspiring programme of arts, science, literature, performance, discussion and reflection.

The overarching narrative around Genesis is congruent to that of the 2018 Festival, which follows a theme of Activists and Architects of Change. This year marks the centenary of The Representation of the People Act 1918, which permitted women to vote for the first time. Whilst not all women (or indeed all men…) had the vote, it was a crucial moment in the campaign for equality and democracy. Bloomsbury has rich history of activism and is as radical now as it has ever been.

Exhibition Dates: 2-30 October 2018
Address: 1 Bedford Avenue, London WC1B 3AU
Opening Times: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-3pm.

Text: courtesy Adelaide Damoah-Genesis.pdf
Image: Adelaide Damoah by Femelle Studios, 2018

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