menu clear direct_eyes_menu direct_eyes_roundel_esp direct_eyes_roundel_ep shopping_basket arrow_back arrow_forward attach_file launch
Events Upcoming

Launch: The Name Game

11 to 24 July 2022

Equations for a Body at Rest is a multi-site video and multimedia artwork presented by Johannesburg-based artist Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi. Tracking the history and symbolic presentation of the Commonwealth Games – and by association, the Commonwealth body itself – from its origins in Empire, to the present day, Nkosi asks, what are the implications for all those participating in the Games today?

Equations for a Body at Rest is split into two components, The Same Track, and The Name Game, which together form a public work in video, print, and online. Spread across the city, within community groups and on large screens, posters and billboards, Nkosi’s works speak to the institutional exploitations and desires of a white Commonwealth geo-political-industrial complex.

The Name Game takes the form of a series of street posters placed on six prominent billboard sites throughout the city. Each poster – reminiscent of, or alluding to, historical Commonwealth Games posters – has been redrawn by Nkosi to interrogate the meanings of the current Games here in Birmingham.

Via QR codes on the posters, audiences can also access an online database of images and texts related to the history of the Games. This curated repository, which includes a comparative historical lexicon of frequently used terms, is designed to illuminate, provoke, and inspire.

In consultation with Birmingham-based artist and community organiser Pauline Bailey, Nkosi has also apportioned a percentage of her funding to a small group of local artists making Games-related work. This action, which the artist describes as an integral part of Equations for a Body at Rest, seeks to imagine (and enact) the possibilities of ‘common-wealth’, or how a genuine sharing of platforms, energies, and resources can help bring into being a world that does not yet exist.


– Barford Street Right, 10 Barford Street, B5 6AG

– Custard Factory Carpark, High Street Deritend, B9 4AA

– Chester Road Station, Chester Road, Erdington, B73 5JS

– Bradford Street Canal, Bradford Street, Digbeth, B12 0QY

– 67 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, B29 6BJ

– 245 Golden Hillock Road, Small Heath, B11 2PJ


Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi (b.1980, New York) She was raised in New York, Harare and Johannesburg, where she now lives. She obtained her BA from Harvard University and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Nkosi divides her time between studio work, performance, and navigating the field of art as social practice. Her first solo exhibition with Stevenson, Gymnasium, took place in 2020 in Johannesburg.

Recent solo exhibitions include; Gymnasium, Stevenson, Johannesburg, South Africa (2020), The Beginning of Stories (part 1 of Many, Seedspace Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee, USA (2017). Recent group and collaborative shows include; Mixed Company at the Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa (2021); FIVE, We Buy Gold, New York (2020); Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, (2020); That’s What She Said, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg (2019); Lost Lover, Rampa, Porto, Portugal (2019); About Face, Stevenson, Cape Town (2018); Nkosi is the recipient of the Philippe Wamba Prize in African Studies (2004), and the Tollman Award for the Visual Arts (2019).