For his exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery, Thompson presents a portrait of Diamond Reynolds. In July 2016, Reynolds broadcast, via Facebook Live, the moments immediately after the fatal shooting of her partner Philando Castile by a police officer during a traffic-stop in Minnesota, United States. Reynolds’ video circulated widely online and amassed over six million views.
In November 2016, with the assistance of Chisenhale Gallery, Thompson established a conversation with Reynolds, and her lawyer, and invited Reynolds to work with him on the production of an artwork. Thompson proposed to make an aesthetic response that could act as a ‘sister-image’ to Reynolds’ video broadcast. Thompson and Reynolds agreed to produce a film together, to be presented in London, and which would break with the well-known image of Reynolds, caught in a moment of violence and distributed within a constant flow of news.
The final work was produced in April 2017. It is a silent portrait of Reynolds shot on 35mm, black and white film and will be presented in the gallery as a single screen work.
Luke Willis Thompson's exhibition continues our programme for 2017-18, which includes major new commissions by artists Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Maeve Brennan and Hannah Black. Through his work, Thompson raises questions around race, representation and the body as site of political enquiry, themes which recur throughout Chisenhale’s programme for 2017.