The Showroom
Event

Performance by Poet Inua Ellams

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Performance by Poet Inua Ellams

Inua Ellams (born in Nigeria, 1984) is an internationally touring poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist and designer heavily Influenced by hip hop music and poetry by the Romantics. Musicality and heightened mellifluous speech mixed with Nigerian storytelling has come to typify his work. Once described as the love child of Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and John Keats, his reoccurring themes are identity, displacement and destiny. He is an ambassador for the Ministry of Stories, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and founded the Midnight Run, a nocturnal urban excursion. He has published four books of poetry, his first play The 14th Tale was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival, and his fourth play Barber Shop Chronicles sold out its run at England’s National Theatre. He is currently touring An Evening With An Immigrant and working on The Half God of Rainfall – a new play in verse.

Image: Inua Ellams, Performance Documentation, 2019. Courtesy of The Showroom

This programme takes place within Theaster Gates's installation Black Image Corporation presented by Prada, The Vinyl Factory, and The Showroom. Collective Intimacy is inspired by Gates’s ethos of collaboration and The Showroom’s commitment to togetherness and communal knowledge, taking on multiple trans-located narratives of the current Black experience as a point of departure for a cosmopolitan worldview. In response to Gates’s reactivated spaces in Chicago and how his socially engaged projects enable communities to connect and grow, Collective Intimacy aims to create a new space for people to gather, listen, converse, and contemplate amongst a fusion of art, design, music, and everyday life.

Black Image Corporation presents distinct spaces creating a myriad of possibilities for collective engagements, featuring an installation of Gates’s art objects, furnishings, and new films that capture the methodologies of urban renewal and community activation founding his practice. Pieces from Chicago imbued with powerful histories, uses, and localities resonate with distinctive lounge design from here in London – like a love letter between two cities, under the roof of a new House. Taking place at both 180 The Strand and The Showroom, Collective Intimacy hosts interdisciplinary interventions by artists, musicians, designers, writers, thinkers, collectives and members of the public, who are all invited to distort notions of selfhood and togetherness in the spirit of creating a global community.