On 16 July 2019 The Showroom hosted the launch of Ima-Abasi Okon's artist book, ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ (pronounced: Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex, Circumflex), with a conversation between Karen Salt and Taylor Le Melle.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ completes the eponymous sculptural installation initiated by Ima-Abasi Okon in March 2018 as part of the group exhibition there's something in the conversation that is more interesting than the finality of (a title), which took place at The Showroom from 28 March – 5 May 2018.
The publication features commissioned texts from Sampada Aranke, Ashon Crawley, Elizabeth Graham, Tara Langford and Karen Salt who have responded to the diacritic with their own speculative endeavours that could be framed through the lens of a circumflex (^). During the launch Karen Salt read an excerpt from her contribution to the book, ‘Living and practicing radical movement within a limited world’. A copy of the text can be downloaded here.
Taylor Le Melle is a curator and a writer.
Dr Karen Salt has over 26 years’ worth of experience working in and with communities, organisations, charities and governmental bodies, including running non-profit organisations and engaging in community development work. Based at the University of Nottingham, she directs the Centre for Research in Race and Rights and leads the university’s Black Studies PhD programme - the first interdisciplinary programme of its kind in Europe.
An expert on sovereignty, power, collective activism and systems of governance, Salt leads and collaborates on a number of research projects including the AHRC funded Geographies of Black Protest that formed part of the larger networks funded as part of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. She is a member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council Advisory Board where she advises on the development and implementation of strategic approaches to funding which reflect the challenges and opportunities arising for arts and humanities research and those who engage with it.
Salt is also Deputy Chair of the UKRI’s External Advisory Group for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She frequently works with arts and cultural organisations on transformational social justice and institutional change. Her monograph, The Unfinished Revolution: Haiti, Black Sovereignty and Power in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World is available from Liverpool University Press. She is also working on new projects including, Theorising Futures in an Age of Twilight and States of Blackness: Debt, Nationhood and Power in Haiti, Liberia and Abyssinia.
Ima-Abasi Okon lives and works between London and Amsterdam. Selected exhibitions include Infinite Slippage: nonRepugnant Insolvencies T!-a!-r!-r!-y!-i!-n!-g! as Handclaps of M’s Hard’Loved’Flesh [I’M irreducibly undone because] —Leanage-Complex-Dub, Chisenhale Gallery, London; The Weather Garden: Anne Hardy curates the Arts Council Collection, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne (both 2019); Sur— [MIX-USE COMMODITY] —plus, Kingsgate Project Space, London (2018); Parables for the BLAZER: Mahalia’s EXCISTENCEandEXISTENTS-HyPE fragrant stacking balm (306.HAL), Plaza Plaza, London; 13th Dak’Art Biennale, Dakar, Senegal; There’s something in the conversation that is more interesting than the finality of (a title), The Showroom, London (all 2018); UNTITLED: Art on the Conditions of Our Time, New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2017); and OUTPOST Members’ Show 2016, Norwich (2016). In 2018, she was awarded the Nigel Greenwood Research Prize and the Summer Residency at Hospitalfield, Scotland. She is currently participating in the residency programme at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam.
The conversation between Karen Salt and Taylor Le Melle was followed by drinks in The Showroom studio.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ is published by Press For Practice (PFP). Press for Practice, which is a praxis of ontological en/in-fleshing and a thicker-excessive reading of ‘being’ (through print and maybe other things), initiated by Ima-Abasi Okon.
The exhibition was part of Holding Space, an artist associates programme initiated within the framework of Object Positions.
Object Positions was supported by Arts Council England Change Makers Fund using public funding by the National Lottery.
Image: Ima-Abasi Okon, excerpt from ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^, 2019
The publication was developed as part of ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^, 2018, by Ima-Abasi Okon commissioned by The Showroom, London, for the exhibition there’s something in the conversation that is more interesting than the finality of (a title) at The Showroom, 28 March – 5 May 2018.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ was available for a special price of £12 on the night of its launch at The Showroom.
Copies are now available to purchase for £15, and can be collected in person on-site during office hours, Wednesday-Saturday, 12-4pm; or mailed plus the cost of postage and packaging.
Please contact Katherine Finerty for sales and further information.