UNTITLED: Art on the conditions of our time
10 July – 3 October 2021
Kettle’s Yard is pleased to present UNTITLED: Art on the conditions of our time. This exhibition brings together work by 10 British African diaspora artists with a focus on how their innovative practices ask important questions about some of the most important cultural and political issues of our turbulent times.
The exhibition will feature new commissions by Barby Asante, Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom and NT, as well as new and recent work by Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, Phoebe Boswell, Kimathi Donkor, Evan Ifekoya, Cedar Lewisohn, Harold Offeh and Ima-Abasi Okon. Painting, drawing and printmaking sits alongside performance, video and sound installation.
The exhibition title refers to the longstanding art historical convention of leaving artworks ‘untitled’ in order to encourage attention onto the works themselves, and eliminate reliance upon contextual information. Untitled asks viewers to examine the conditions of our time through the prism of Black British artists working today, without reducing the encounter solely to an exploration of Black British identity. By avoiding such over-contextualisation, the exhibition seeks to foreground these artists’ practices and show how they create platforms for audiences to explore the connections between art, culture and society.
This exhibition is a new iteration of UNTITLED: Art on the conditions of our time, originally produced by New Art Exchange, Nottingham in 2017, and curated by Paul Goodwin and Loren Hansi Gordon. At Kettle’s Yard it is curated by Paul Goodwin with Guy Haywood. The exhibition is financially supported by Arts Council, England.
This exhibition takes a bold curatorial approach to the often paradoxical question of curating ‘black survey shows’. Instead of focusing on blackness ahead of the works themselves, Untitled flips this order and focuses on the works first and foremost. Questions of blackness, race and identity are then shown to be entangled in the multitude of concerns – aesthetic, material and political – that viewers can encounter without the curatorial voice obscuring the works.
Paul Goodwin, Curator
Ten British African diaspora artists come together in a profound display of contemporary artworks. The show isn’t necessarily an exploration of Black British identity, but rather a reflection of and reaction to our times.
Introduction to UNTITLED
Find out more about the exhibition with curator Paul Goodwin.
North Cambridge Academy – UNTITLED: The students of our time
A year 9 class from North Cambridge Academy worked with Kettle’s Yard to explore the UNTITLED exhibition. They met the artists and produced this film together in response.
Find out more in this blog post
Larry Achiampong and David Blandy in conversation with Dr Jean Khalfa
In this film UNTITLED artists Larry Achiampong & David Blandy discuss the work of Frantz Fanon with Dr Jean Khalfa, University of Cambridge, in relation to their video trilogy Finding Fanon. Dr Jean Khalfa is a senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge, specialising in the history of philosophy, modern literature (in particular contemporary poetry and writing in French from North Africa and the Caribbean), aesthetics and anthropology. He has written extensively on the work of Frantz Fanon and recently published, with R. JC Young, Frantz Fanon’s Alienation and Freedom, a scholarly edition of about 800 pages of unpublished or lost material by Fanon, including his theatre, his psychiatric writings and a number of political texts (La Découverte 2018 and Bloomsbury 2020).
Learn more about some of the artists in the exhibition.
Performative Tour of the Kettle’s Yard House with Harold Offeh
In this video UNTITLED artist Harold Offeh visits the Kettle’s Yard House, where he explores sculptures by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska through the use of body and gesture.
Camera: Ryd Cook and Mariana Vaz
Editor: Mariana Vaz