A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message: Artists’ Films

Modern Art Oxford
Thursday 16th – Friday 31st May 2019


A series of artist films foregrounding contemporary artists and directors whose work explores cultural identity through moving image portraits centred on the abstracted and politicised body as a conveyor of lived experience.


Ayo Akingbade, Tower XYZ, 2016, 3 minutes, courtesy of the artist

Accompanied by a lilting soundtrack, characters wander through London’s concrete jungle as the narrator reflects on the current state of the city and her imagined future.

‘In Tower XYZ I wanted to feature my experience of living in Hackney and document London's ever-changing landscape. I wondered if I did not capture it, would people know of an African fabric shop called Afrique Fabrics that once shone majestically on Kingsland High Street for many years? I wanted to see myself and my community represented in a way that was authentic.’ – Ayo Akingbade



Hannah Black, My Bodies, 2014, 3 minutes, courtesy of the artist and Arcadia Missa, London

‘I wanted to say something about how there is no generic body, no such thing as “the body”; bodies are raced, gendered, and assisted differently in the world. I collected images of white business executives, and you hear the voices of African-American female singers—Aaliyah, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, and many others—all singing the phrase “my body.’ – Hannah Black



Rhea Storr, A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message, 2018, 12 minutes, courtesy of the artist

Celebration is protest at Leeds West Indian Carnival. A look at forms of authority, A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message asks who is really performing. Following Mama Dread's, a troupe whose carnival theme is Caribbean immigration to the UK, we are asked to consider the visibility of black bodies, particularly in rural spaces.


Contact: ︎ Jonathan.weston@sunderlandculture.org.uk