Collective Intimacy is a live programme that takes us on a journey in which multiple and trans-located narratives of the current Black experience and their futuristic imaginaries are the point of departure for a cosmopolitan view of the world. Presented in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory and The Store X, Collective Intimacy takes place on Saturdays in October at 180 The Strand within the Black Image Corporation installation by Theaster Gates, and every other Thursday 10 October – 5 December at The Showroom. Across these two sites, both the spectacular and the everyday merge in an interconnected programme featuring artists, musicians, designers, writers, thinkers, collectives and members of the public who are invited to distort notions of selfhood and togetherness. At 180 The Strand, Phoebe Boswell will present The Lighthouse, an immersive live performance soundscape of invited women collectively reading from their gathered texts.
For the launch of Collective Intimacy at The Showroom, Boswell presents Mothering Memory, a new performance departing from her piece The Matter of Memory from 2014. This immersive multimedia installation drew from conversations with both her parents about their memories of Kenya, with audiences invited to discover hidden narratives about family, love, and delicate senses of belonging amidst the backdrop of Kenya's violent colonial history. In this site-specific live re-telling, Boswell responds to Theaster Gates’s ethos of collaboration alongside The Showroom's commitment to communal knowledge, igniting her mother's original transcript in a harmonic act of re-receiving messages from the past with a new reflection on intergenerational memory, Black womanhood, emancipation passages, and what exists between.
Image: Family archive. Courtesy of the artist
Phoebe Boswell (born 1982) explores the sense of ‘belonging’ and is anchored to a restless state of diasporic consciousness, combining traditional drawing with digital technology. Her practice draws on her own experiences of belonging, having been born in Kenya and brought up in the Arabian Gulf; she now lives and works in London. She creates powerful images, animations and immersive installations in works that layer drawing, animation, sound, video, interactivity, and most recently, performance. These works are created in an effort to find new languages robust yet open and multifaceted enough to house, centre and amplify voices and histories which, like her own, are often systemically marginalised or sidelined as 'other'.
Her work has been exhibited widely, including Tiwani Contemporary; Sundance Film Festivals, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 2015, and Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2016, amongst others. She received the Future Generation Art Prize's Special Prize in 2017, consequently exhibiting in the Collateral Events programme at the 57th Venice Biennale. Boswell will unveil a new large-scale public moving image work in Geneva in December 2019, and a solo exhibition at New Art Exchange, Nottingham in 2020.