For Art Night 2021 Alberta Whittle presented a major new commission taking the voice of the River Thames as its starting point. Working with science fiction writer Ama Josephine Budge, the commission looks at colonial histories, police brutality and imagined futures offering time and space for healing and reset. The work manifests as a new film, HOLDING THE LINE: a refrain in two parts and as a performance DIS- A lesson in Reversal or Unlearning which took place at Two Temple Place on 9th July.
The film below documents Alberta Whittle’s intimate performance DIS- A lesson in Reversal or Unlearning, commissioned by Art Night in partnership with New Hall Art Collection, hosted at Two Temple Place on 9 July 2021. The performance incorporated sound and movement focusing on ideas of rebellion, love and the oceans that connect us. Poetry and writing formed the spine of the work including a specially commissioned text by Ama Josephine Budge who performs in the piece alongside Whittle and five other womxn performers with a score composed by Yves B. Golden and Richie Carey.
The performance aimed to excavate history as a communal action and responsibility, in order to develop new ways to think about congregation, contestation, remembering the dead and belonging.
The performance was filmed as documentation of the event.
Performance conceived and directed by Alberta Whittle
Solo by Mele Broomes
Choreography improvised and developed by Mele Broomes, Ama Josephine Budge, Christian Noelle Charles, Sekai Machache, Zethu Maseko and Alberta Whittle
Commissioned text, In Search of God, Dirt and Ecstasy by Ama Josephine Budge
Sculpture, Capstone by Zethu Maseko
Sound by Steve Hellier Filmed and edited by Wilf Speller
Commissioned and produced by Art Night in partnership with New Hall Art Collection, as part of the 2021 festival curated by Helen Nisbet. Hosted by Two Temple Place
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Alberta Whittle (b.1980, Bridgetown Barbados) lives and works in Glasgow. Whittle’s practice-led research involves performance, writing, digital collage and video installation. Selected solo and group shows including Dundee Contemporary Arts, (2019), 13th Havana Biennial (2019), GoMA, Glasgow (2019), The Showroom, London (2018), National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (2018), RAW Material, Dakar (2018), FADA Gallery, Johannesburg (2018) and at the Johannesburg Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice (2015). Over 2021, Alberta will be sharing new work as part of British Art Show 9, Liverpool Biennial, business as usual: hostile environment at Glasgow Sculpture Studios and Right of Admission at the University of Johannesburg. In 2022 she will be representing Scotland at the 59th Venice Biennale.