The project will develop through three solo shows opening this winter consecutively in Berlin, London, and Paris, alongside the presentation of three related performance works at Union Pacific, The Showroom and Tate Modern.
Feeding off of one another, each iteration of ‘Becoming a Body of Water…’ will feature choreographed dance pieces alongside the presentation of film-based and sculptural works. By looking at the exhibition space as a multimodal situation to experiment with new interactions between dance and moving images, it aims to challenge presentation formats while reconsidering the role a show holds in the rendition of an artwork.
The exhibition at Assembly Point will bring together elements of film, music, performance, sculpture and collaboration. It will feature a film installation projected onto a wall of the gallery through a number of long sheer curtains. Luminous sculptures placed throughout the gallery will interact with the architecture of the space, and engage in a dialogue with the film projection through incorporated text. A special soundtrack has also been produced for the exhibition by artist Sophie Mallett. Open rehearsals and choreographed performances will be staged at several points during the exhibition, occupying the central part of the gallery floor. These performances will be conceived by Maheke during the exhibition in response to Mallett's soundtrack.
Maheke’s ongoing project takes its roots in Hydrofeminism (1), considering water as a subjective/affective matter. Choreographing our relations to each other, the shows will explore notions such as fluidity and formlessness through the use of dance – as both a strategy of resistance and a thinking process that is in flux and allows indetermination.
Also drawing on research into the memory of water and its molecular responsiveness to emotions (2) as well as how trauma is passed on from one generation to another through DNA (3), the show speculates about embodied histories by researching physical memory through movement. It grounds itself in an artistic exploration of queer blackness within which dance and musicmaking have become coping mechanisms and the queer black body operates —similarly to its main constituent: water — as an archive using its fluids as pathways to knowledge and information.
‘Becoming a Body of Water or How to Unlearn Resistance as Opposition’ will commence in Berlin (‘In Me Everything is Already Flowing’ at Center, 15 Dec 2016 — 12 Feb 2017) before progressing to London (‘What Flows Through and Across’ at Assembly Point, 18 Jan — 25 Feb 2017) and Paris (‘Acqua Alta’, Sultana Gallery, April — May 2017). A series of related performance works will continue to proceed alongside the shows, staged at Union Pacific (Aug 2016), The Showroom (Nov 2016) and Tate Modern (Mar 2017).
(1) See Astrida Neimanis: ‘Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water.’
(2) See Masaru Emoto and Professor Luc Montagnier- also winner of the Nobel Prize for his discovery of HIV ³
(3) See Dr. Rachel Yehuda: ‘How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations’
Paul Maheke is a French artist (b.1985, Brive-la-Gaillarde) who has lived in London since 2015 after completing his MA in Art Practice at l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy in 2011 and subsequently living in Montreal, Canada, for two years.
Maheke was awarded the South London Gallery Graduate Residency 2015-16 and his exhibition ‘I Lost Track of the Swarm’ was exhibited in the first floor galleries in late spring 2016. Prior to this, Maheke completed a programme of study at Open School East, London, where he pursued a period of research and a series of public conversations entitled ‘Beyond Beyoncé: Use It Like a Bumper!’.
He has also participated in a number of group exhibitions and artist residencies including: ‘No Ordinary Love’, Galerie Sultana, Paris (2016); ‘The Rebel Man Standard Festival’, Guest Projects, London (2016); ‘I Would’ve Done Everything for You / Gimme More’, cur. Cédric Fauq, London (May 2016); Festival de l’Inattention, Paris (2016); artist-inresidence at Darling Foundry, Montreal, Canada (2015); ‘ODRADEK’, Les Instants Chavirés, cur. Mikaela Assolent + Flora Katz, Montreuil, France (2015); ‘59th Salon de Montrouge’, Montrouge, France (2014); artist-in-residence at CIAP - Île de Vassivière, France (2014); ‘VIVA!’, at Centre CLARK, Montreal, Canada (2012); ‘«Pratiques Furtives» : fragments d’une enquête’, cur. Patrice Loubier, Skol art center, Montreal, Canada (2012).
Upcoming projects include: ‘Ten Days Six Nights’, Tate Modern; ‘Performances/Partitions', Fondation Ricard; 'Diaspora Platform’, Venice, Italy; ‘Take the Weight’, SixtyEight Art Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Sophie Mallett a London based artist. Her practice is concerned with forms of belonging and exclusion, and how these manifest through national borders, capital and migration. Through music, radio, video and installation she pursues a practice focused on sounds’ intersection with affect, politics and value, concentrating on the connections between sound, music, history and place. Her approach to making is rooted in coproduction with a reflexive emphasis on how individuals work together.