AboutIniva presents Whose Map is it? at Rivington Place, an exhibition in which nine contemporary artists from across the globe explore new approaches to mapping. Using film, installation, print and audio, the artists engage with social and political issues, and new technologies.
A Thames river map focusing on the North-South London divide, an interactive magnetic puzzle map of the Middle East, and an audio installation about the history of Rumba, are some of the ways artists have used maps and mapping techniques.
In Gayle Chong Kwan's Save the last dance for me, a large-scale map tracks the Rumba from Cuba to the international ballroom. Visitors are invited to follow dance instructions, experiencing how others have discovered another culture through dance. Oraib Toukan's interactive magnetic puzzle The New(er) Middle East plays on an infamous map detailing how 'a better Middle East would look', as suggested by an ex-US Army Lieutenant.
Artist Susan Stockwell's new site-specific commission, River of Blood, for the vast window of Rivington Place, is made up of an intricate network of red tributaries to form the iconic image of the Thames river map. Using vinyl cut-out local road maps she draws parallels between city roads and human arteries, investigating the North versus South London divide that the capital's citizens frequently highlight.
Other artists such as Bouchra Khalili, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa and Alexandra Handal refer to migration, displacement and colonial imperialism. Esther Polak tracks dairy distributors in Nigeria: both a nomadic tribe and the modern day transporters. Milena Bonilla's dislocated series of poster maps present a new landscape view of the Americas including Mexico, Canada and Venezuela, and Otobong Nkanga's drawings reveal the ecological transformations of the oil rich Delta region in Nigeria.