His first solo exhibition in the UK, now on show at Camden Arts Centre, presents new works based on the plight of the Harlem Six – six black youths arrested for committing a murder during the Harlem riot in 1964 – and using footage of the comedian Richard Pryor.
A new series of enormous black-and-white silkscreen paintings are based on composer Steve Reich’s taped-speech work, using the recorded voice of Daniel Hamm, one of the Harlem Six, describing how he had to puncture one of his bruises to prove to the police he had been beaten. Layered up so as to obscure the text, creating a rhythm that recalls Reich’s musical piece, the works dominate the large gallery at the Camden Arts Centre.
A new neon piece takes from the same source material and demonstrates Ligon’s technique of creating “black” neon.
Finally, a seven-screen video installation uses footage from the comedian Richard Pryor’s 1982 standup show, Live on the Sunset Strip. Removing the sound, Ligon forces viewers to observe Pryor’s lively and exaggerated body language, exploring an alternative means of communication and self-expression.
Glenn Ligon: Call and Response
Camden Arts Centre, London
10 October 2014 – 11 January 2015
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY
Click on the pictures below to enlarge
Kara Walker’s Silhouettes
The Art Institute of Chicago has inaugurated a newly commissioned installation, Rise Up Ye Mighty Race!, made by American artist Kara Walker, who is known for her use of simple black cut-paper silhouettes to explore provocative themes.
Dutch video artist Aernout Mik is drawn to images of conflict and war. In his exhibition at Camden Arts Centre he presents four video installations that also reveal his preoccupation with acting. He explores the shifting dynamics of power in human behaviour and includes moving unseen footage from the Bosnian war.
Rediscovering the Silver Age of Russian Art
While the recent, ambitious 'RUSSIA!' show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York was a bit thin on the artists associated with the Ballets Russes, the travelling exhibition, 'Mir Iskusstva: Russia's Age of Elegance', provides a compelling introduction to the twilight of the Tsars. The State Russian Museum in St Petersburg, in conjunction with the International Foundation for Arts and Education in Bethesda, MD, have pulled together more than 80 paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, posters, book and stage designs from the Silver Age of Russian Art.
Troubled Waters: Kara Walker's Visual Epiphanies
Kara Walker functions as both subject and curator of a current exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the second instalment in a series developed by the museum's Department of Nineteenth-Century Modern and Contemporary Art featuring work by contemporary artists. While in the recent past major museums have offered contemporary artists the role of curator, this series is the first time that the Met has done so.