25 September to 4 December 2021
Co-curated by Harold Offeh & Eastside Projects
Co-commissioned by Eastside Projects & Birmingham International Dance Festival
Launch Night: Friday 24 September, 6–9pm, with live performances by Will Fredo Keiken and Harold Offeh. Samra Mayanja invites you to improvise at the opening – click for more details.
Loop — a shape produced by a curve that bends round and crosses itself. A structure, series, or process, the end of which is connected to the beginning
Looping — to form (something) into a loop or loops, to encircle
Loopy — slang phrase for mad or irrational behaviour normally accompanied by gestures
Loophole — legal and contractual means of escape
Loop the loop — on the roller -coaster
Loopers — 2012 movie about time travel and altering history
LOOP TV — a Summer 2021 prelude to this exhibition
Loop, Looping, Loopy, Loophole, Loop the loop, Loopers. Can you have a performance without an audience? Sadly, we may be the continual and faithful audience to the performance of our own lives – perpetual spectators to our own performance. LOOP asks what is at stake in encountering and experiencing performance? And how is this experience negotiated live and in person with the possibility of close physical proximity? Or mediated, distanced, documented and transmitted via technology and screens?
LOOP is an exhibition constituted by actions and gestures, choreographed and presented to audiences, defined by the body, the floor, the walls, the sound, the sensors, the womb, the book, by whirling, by dancing with nature, and by trying to position these practices in the loop of history. We don’t know what comes next but we want to perform again. We want to speak. To say something about subjectivity, class, race, and gender at play. We are artists constructing narratives, histories, fictions, and processes of being live, physical, virtual, and mediated.
But we are mindful of you. We are the audience. You are the audience. This is LOOP.
From the Artists Mouth
Saturday 25 September, 2–3pm
Come and hear about the works in the newly launched LOOP exhibition at an informal walk-and-talk with Artist-Curators Gavin Wade and Harold Offeh and the exhibiting artists.
Thursday 30 September, 8.30–10.30
For the early risers, this breakfast opening is a chance to come and see the show at a different pace. Coffee, tea and pastries for early birds, all welcome. Grand Union are also opening their Phyllis Christopher show from 8.30–10.30am giving you the opportunity to see both exhibitions in one morning.
Symposium: New Possibilities for Performance
Saturday 4 December, 11am–1pm
Pay what you can (suggested £7) / Free to EOP
Join us in the gallery or online for a symposium develop and hosted by Harold Offeh, exploring what is at stake in experiencing performance and how this experience is mediated, live and direct in close physical contact or when transmitted via technology and screens.
Phoebe Collings-James is a Jamaican British artist, born in London and living in London. Her works take form in performance, drawing, video, sculpture, text and music, with distinctly corporeal approach. She burdens ubiquitous materials with a process of symbolic layering, all in order to explore emotional connections to the politics and erotics of violence, language and fear.
Adham Faramawy is an artist of Egyptian descent born in Dubai, based in London. Adham uses technology to explore issues of materiality, touch, embodiment and identity construction. His work crosses aesthetic categories and co-opts special effects drawn from advertising to evoke desire for people, things and experiences. His recent work has been concerned with bodies, desire and queering ideas of the natural. His work often combines sound, sculpture, spoken word, dance and video to consider the different ways bodies interact with substances and with each other and when a body, behaviour, movement or interaction might be desirable and when it or they might be unwelcome.
Will Fredo (Guatemala/Cape Verde) are an artist and writer living and working in Berlin. Their work investigates repressed narratives, developing technologies and new forms of storytelling in the digital age. In his recent work TRAMAAAH, Fredo has explored collective performativity through their investigation into the role that drama, politics and personal trauma in Latin America play. Mainly working with video and photography the invitation for Fredo to participate in the project offers the possibility of them extending the practice through live performance. Will is also deputy editor of Contemporary& the art magazine on contemporary art from Africa and its Global Diaspora.
Keiken is the Japanese word for experience, something that is integral to their collaborative practice and philosophy. They are both a collective and organisation made up of artists and musicians based in London, Berlin and Falmouth. Through interactivity and immersivity they dissolve the boundaries between audience and environment through live RPG, merging new technologies, music and contemporary art. They nurture an inclusive environment, researching and creating collectively to primarily create large-scale installations, performances and events.
Samra Mayanja is a Leeds based artist, writer and community organiser who is invested in long term research projects and collaborative processes. She uses performance, the body and movement histories as primary research tools. Recent projects have drawn on the Ugandan dance traditions and the Ugandan film industry. Through workshops, performances, video, writing and self-initiated residencies, Mayanja has developed a radical methodology that opens up spaces for dialogue and critical reflections.
Harold Offeh is an artist based in Cambridge, working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. Offeh often employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture and is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of history. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including Tate Britain and Modern, Studio Museum Harlem, South London Gallery, MAC VAL, Kulturhusset Stockholm and Kunsthal Charlottenborg and was a key part of Sonia Boyce: In the Castle of My Skin here at Eastside Projects in 2020, and at MIMA in 2021.