In response to this day's COVID MANIFESTO #14 by Cauleen Smith "If we all stopped honouring our debt… what could they really do? Not a rhetorical question" – @circa.art's instagram will be taken over by our Curator Katherine Finerty in a conversation studio visit with Ghanaian multi-media artist Larry Amponsah.
In this 30 minute conversation leading up to Cauleen Smith's video going live on the Piccadilly Lights and online on the CIRCA.ART website at 20:20 GMT, Larry and Katherine will discuss Cauleen's project in the context of Larry's practice from the artist’s studio.
During lockdown in London, Larry made a poignant series of Diaper Drawings that sit in a powerful juxtaposition and connection with the MANIFESTOs, leading to ideas around artistic responses to lockdown and language, social media and social distancing, radicality and fragility, fear and hope.....
See you LIVE on Thursday 19:50 GMT via @circa.art & @theshowroomlondon and we welcome you to come with questions!
We are proud to collaborate with CIRCA, the new and independently curated digital art platform, launching its second month of programming with Cauleen Smith. The inaugural c. 20:20 exhibition transforms the giant 4K screen of Piccadilly Lights into a digital canvas each month by pausing the adverts on screen for two minutes each day at 20:20 - 20:22 GMT. More info and watch live here: circa.art
More info on this project here
Cauleen Smith's works compile her Instagram series, COVID MANIFESTO, which the interdisciplinary California artist initiated a couple of weeks after the United States went into lockdown. From the 13th April 2020 onwards, her hand-drawn COVID MANIFESTO points have followed both the quotidian reality of her practice in the studio and the strangeness of being out of the classroom during the academic year. Her frustrations, reflections and inspirations resonate with the eventful episodes of real life, namely, the turmoil and aftermaths of the central government management of the pandemic, the assassination of George Floyd, and the collective action claiming the end of police brutality across the globe.
Cauleen will be rewriting and revealing each point of the Manifesto throughout the duration of November. In a sort of 'living' still life, the artist's desk will be the tableau, in which personal items, remnants of daily rituals, and key references to her practice will accumulate, appear and disappear. COVID MANIFESTO consists of 23 pronouncements. The project will unfold in a sequence, a crescendo, that will be punctuated by 7 intermissions selected from Smith’s existing works. Over the month, the personal and poetic, the eventful and now historical, will feature as Smith responds to Covid-19 and its multiple aftermaths.
Larry Amponsah (b. 1989, Accra-Ghana) is a multi-media artist whose practice investigates traditional modes of image-making whilst employing unconventional strategies of production to look at the contemporary politics of imagery. Amponsah, traditionally trained as a painter, creates collages made of archival images, objects, and stories from various cultures in order to negotiate systems of power and create new ways of transcending boundaries.
He received his MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London (2018) after studying for an MFA in Chinese Traditional Painting at Jiangsu University China (2016) and gaining his BFA in Painting at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana (2015). Larry is currently a Trustee of The Kuenyehia Art Trust in Ghana, shortlisted for the 2019 Dentons Art Prize, and recently won the Be Smart About Art Award in 2019. He also hosts a Contemporary Art Seminar at the City of London School alongside Curator Katherine Finerty.
Recent solo exhibitions include: When a Stone Cracks We Don't Stitch, 50 Golborne Gallery, London (2019), The Open City of Many Gods Billboard, Bloc Projects, Sheffield (2019) and Imaginary Direction of Time, The Fine Art Gallery, CSU-Pueblo Hoag Hall, Colorado (2018). Recent group exhibitions include Collective Intimacy, Theaster Gates: Black Image Corporation, 180 The Strand, London (2019), DEAR, Dyson Gallery, RCA Battersea, London (2019); DAMNED IF I DO… DAMNED IF I DON’T, Open Space: Of Hosts & Guests, Pushkin House, London (2019); FBA Futures Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London (2019); SURGE, East Wing Biennial 13, Courtauld Institute of Art, London (2018); YOUNG GUNS, Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery, London (2018); Open House CCA, Delfina Foundation, London (2017); What is your local word for 'Smile'?, ArtXanady's Pop-up Gallery, Labone, Ghana (2016); and The Gown Must Go To Town, Museum of Science and Technology, Accra (2015), amongst others.
Larry Amponsah's Lockdown Reading List:
Reni Eddo-Lodge. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019.
Akala. Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire. London: Two Roads, 2019.
Don Letts, and David Nobakht. Culture Clash: Dread Meets Punk Rockers. London: SAF, 2008.
Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman. The Good Immigrant USA. London: Dialogue Books, 2019.
David Olusoga. Black and British: A Forgotten History. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 2018.
June Sarpong. Diversify. Richmond: MIRA, 2019.
Image: Larry Amponsah, Close-up of Supremacy Is Not A Man..., 2020. Paper, Acrylic Paint and Archival Paper mounted on Canvas. 230 X 150cm. Courtesy the artist and 50 Golborne