In the Black Fantastic at the Hayward gallery

In the Black Fantastic 2022

Hew Locke
Hew Locke

Afrofuturist works at the Hayward Gallery

‘In the Black Fantastic is the first major exhibition to gather together artists from the African diaspora who embrace myth and science fiction as a way to address racial injustice and explore alternative realities.’

The exhibition starts with Nick Cave. Each artist had their own defined space.

Nick Cave

Nick Cave makes wearable sculpture called Soundsuits. The suits are Cave’s response to his his own feelings as a Black man of being ‘devalued, less-than, dismissed’. The costumes erase gender, race and class he explaines. Soundsuit 9:29 responds to the murder of George Floyd in 2020 by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu descibes making collages as ‘a way of destroying a certain set of hierarchies that I don’t believe in’.

Lina Iris Victor

“I am looking at ancient cultures to tell the story of our place in the universe’. explains Lina Iris Viktor. Inpsired by a range of West Afrian sculptural traditions, including Akan and Dogon art, Viktor’s Diviner sculptures represent figures who communicatie knowledge across time.

Hew Locke

‘Survivors on horseback in a dystopian, burnt-out landscape, heading to the future’ is how Hew Locke describes The Ambassadors, a group of sculptures which build on his interest in disrupting the way we memorialise historical figures.

‘They com from some empire, some imaginary state’ Locke comments.

Sedrick Chisom

Rashaad Newsome

Rashaad Newsome samples and reconfigures imagery relating to pop culture, traditional African sculpture and the Black Queer community. For Newsome, collage is the connective tissue between all of his work and a way of constructing a new cultural framework of power.

Cauleen Smith

Cauleen Smith explores the utopian possibilities of community and artistic expression. The found objects assembled on the table are each of personal significance to the artist who describes them as an ‘archive of associations, travels, affections, desires, questions, an longings’.

Chris Ofili

Here Chris Ofili reimagines scenes from two foundational texts of European culture – Homer’s Odyssey and the Bible.

Ellen Gallagher

Ellen Gallagher’s Watery Ecstatic watercolours and Ecstatic Draught of Fishes paintings envision an underwater realm inhabited by the descendants of enslaved pregnat woman thrown overboard during the ocean crossing from West Africa to the Americas. The aquatic world pictured by Gallagher is inspired by a mythic Black Atlantis called Drexciya.

Kara Walker

The text is partly taken from the exhibition.

The exhibition will travel to the Kunsthal in Rotterdam.

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