James Massiah is a poet & DJ from South London whose work explores ideas about sexuality, mortality & ethics through performance, writing & visual media. His latest project Optimism 101 is a series of 101 poems reflecting on stoicism, materialism, hedonism & excess, all written in January 2019, as a reflection on personal experiences from the previous year
He has been commissioned to produce work for the BBC, the Guardian & Nike as well as featuring in campaigns for Selfridges, Loewe, Adidas & Champion. He has performed readings of his work at the Tate Modern, the Courtauld, the Institute of Contemporary Arts & the Houses of Parliament & been profiled in Vogue, Dazed, i-D & GQ. He has also curated events for Boiler Room & hosts the monthly ‘Poætry Show’ on NTS Radio.
Image: Leti Mortimer
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.
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.
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.