Launching the Forum programme, British-Ghanaian artist Adelaide Damoah will present a new collective performance titled Into the Mind of the Coloniser in Mary Ward House’s Virginia Woolf Room. As the artist and guests read directional manuals written by self-proclaimed 19th-century colonisers, recently discovered by the artist in a forgotten archive, the audience will gradually cut away her traditional Ghanaian funeral dress to reveal blood red skin beneath. Damoah often uses her body as a ‘living paintbrush’ and, during the performance, she will make body prints upon the manuals, leaving a ghost of the progeny of colonised people.
Simultaneously next door in the Voysey Room and Courtyard, Spanish-Chilean artist Nora Silva will present an immersive food-art experience titled Minced Meat. A modern day reinterpretation of an 18th-century French banquet, the work will play out as a three-act performance using the symbolism of food to form a social critique of our time. From a ‘meatball riot’ commenting on the exploitation of meat by the food industry, to a ‘bread auction’ reflecting class divisions in society, the performance will question and challenge conceptions of class through the medium of food.
These events comprise the first evening of Forum: Of Hosts & Guests, a three-day series of artist performances, film screenings, talks and workshops exploring ideas of hospitality, hierarchy, ritual and belonging organised by Open Space and guest curated by Katherine Finerty.
Forum runs from Thursday 28 March - Saturday 30 March 2019 in Bloomsbury, London: University College London (UCL), Mary Ward House and Pushkin House. The programme on Thursday 28 March takes place at Mary Ward House under the theme of "The Home – Ritualising the Domestic". More information here.