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BL CK B X: Alberta Whittle
accumulating gestures: from the forest to the concrete (to the forest)

Wed 6 Nov - Sat 14 Dec 2019 / Wed-Sat, 12pm-4pm

LUX, Waterlow Park Centre, Dartmouth Park Hill, London, N19 5JF

On Wednesday 6 November, 9-10.30am, join us for a Breakfast Opening, our special viewing of the exhibition with the artist. Tea, coffee and pastries will be provided. All welcome drop in anytime between 9am – 10.30 am.

LUX is proud to present accumulating gestures: from the forest to the concrete (to the forest), an exhibition with artist, researcher and educator Alberta Whittle, featuring the London premiere of the 2018/19 Margaret Tait Award commission between a whisper and a cry, and from the forest to the concrete (to the forest), produced for Whittle’s recent solo show at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA). In these powerful new works, Whittle reflects on the legacies of slavery, colonialism, and the current climate crisis.

between a whisper and a cry seeks to challenge conditions of racialised abjection and find new methods for refusal. A chief linkage in this refusal is the sonic cosmologies found in Kamau Brathwaite’s research on tidalectics and Christina Sharpe’s work on ‘the weather’. Sharpe positions ‘the weather’ as a lens to understand the inescapable conditions within the afterlife of slavery, while Brathwaite’s theories of tidalectics expose the performativity of sound, revealing memories of transoceanic life. between a whisper and a cry speaks of memory, trauma, tensions between the land, the sea and the weather, which reveal the precarity and privilege of geography.

“[between a whisper and a cry] looks at forms of decolonialisation and the climate-related devastation that is accelerating in the Global South with the hurricane seasons getting so much longer, flooding, cyclones and earthquakes becoming more drastic, and even in the UK heatwaves happening in February,” explains Whittle in an interview on Africanah.org. “Linking this extreme havoc of climate change with colonialism and borders feels very pressing in my work, making me wonder how relationships with borders may become even more tense, because essentially the Global South is already dealing with climate change because they are the vanguard, experiencing catastrophe before the West.”

Still from 'from the forest to the concrete (to the forest)' (2019, Alberta Whittle). Courtesy of the artist.

Still from ‘from the forest to the concrete (to the forest)’ (2019, Alberta Whittle). Courtesy of the artist.

The Barbadian-Scottish artist recently completed from the forest to the concrete (to the forest) for her first major solo exhibition in the UK, How Flexible Can We Make the Mouth, at DCA. In the film, made right after hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on several Caribbean countries, Whittle continues her reflection on extreme weather and inequality, mourning the loss suffered by communities across the Caribbean.

Whittle’s research involves performance, writing, digital collage, and video installation. Her practice is motivated by the desire to work collectively towards radical self-love, which she considers a key method in decolonization for people of colour to battle anti-blackness.

The exhibition accumulating gestures: from the forest to the concrete (to the forest) is organised and curated by LUX Scotland.

Events related to the exhibition will take place at LUX (Waterlow Park Centre). More to be announced on lux.org.uk/whats-on

Still from 'between a whisper and a cry' (Alberta Whittle, 2019). Courtesy of the artist


Alberta Whittle

Alberta Whittle (b.1980, Bridgetown, Barbados) lives and works in Glasgow. Whittle received her MFA from Glasgow School of Art in 2011 and she is a PhD candidate at Edinburgh College of Art. Whittle was the 2018 recipient of The Margaret Tait Award. Whittle’s work has been exhibited in various solo and group shows within institutions including Dundee Contemporary Arts, 13th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2019), GoMA, Glasgow (2019), The City Arts Centre, Edinburgh (2019), The Showroom, London (2018), National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (2018), RAW Material, Dakar (2018), and others.

LUX Scotland

LUX Scotland is a part of LUX. Established in 2014, the non-profit agency is supported by Creative Scotland, and dedicated to supporting, developing and promoting artists’ moving image practices in Scotland. One of its current priorities is the establishment of a new distribution collection of artists’ moving image-based in Scotland.