Living With Ghosts

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Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

5 Hanover Square, W1S 1HQ, London, UK
Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm


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Living With Ghosts

to Fri 5 Aug 2022

5 Hanover Square, W1S 1HQ Living With Ghosts

Tue-Sat 10am-6pm


Pace Gallery presents Living With Ghosts, a group exhibition guest curated by writer, critic, and curator, Kojo Abudu. Abudu brings together nine pioneering artists whose work explores the ways the unresolved traumas of Africa’s colonial past, and its unfulfilled project of decolonisation, continue to haunt the present global order.

Artworks

Foreign Office, 2015

Single-channel video, colour, sound
22 minutes 6 seconds
© Bouchra Khalili, courtesy the artist and Mor Charpentier, Paris

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Constructed Realities (detail), 2022

Photo-sculptural installation, spruce, fibre paper, chiffon
Variable dimensions
© Abraham Oghobase, courtesy the artist

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biko.cabral, 2020

Receipt Printer, microcontroller
Variable dimensions
© Nolan Oswald Dennis, courtesy the artist and Goodman Gallery

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Foreword to Guns for Banta, 2011

Set photographs of the shooting of the film Guns for Banta by Sarah Maldoror
© Suzanne Lipinska, courtesy Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc

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Foreword to Guns for Banta, 2011

Set photographs of the shooting of the film Guns for Banta by Sarah Maldoror
© Suzanne Lipinska, courtesy Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc

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Clandestine Geography (Hypershape), 2022

Wood, graphite, and acrylic
48 x 45 x 1 1/2 in / 121.9 x 114.3 x 3.8 cm
© Torkwase Dyson, courtesy Pace Gallery

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Hotel El Safir, Ex-Aletti, Algiers City Center, Residence of the Black Panther Party delegation during the 1969 Pan-African Festival of Algiers, Fig. 1 : Entrance of the former casino, 2015

Digital print on paper
39 3/8 x 49 3/16 in / 100 x 125 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Mor Charpentier

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Pace London Living with Ghosts 1

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Living With Ghosts is an expanded iteration of Abudu’s ongoing exhibition project, first staged at the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University in New York. Each of the artists included in the exhibition are united by their formal, historiographic, and poetic interrogations of the enduring power structures birthed by the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism, and imperialism, and equally consider the myriad resistances and refusals formed in response to these very structures. Living With Ghosts at once evokes the structural continuities of these African colonial histories into the present day, while also offering a transformative space for envisioning alternative and more just decolonial futures.

Spanning a diverse array of media, from video and installation to works on paper and sculpture, Living With Ghosts features work by Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Torkwase Dyson, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Bouchra Khalili, Abraham Oghobase, Cameron Rowland, and Tako Taal. Taking inspiration from Achille Mbembe’s theorising on the African “postcolony,” Jacques Derrida’s notion of “hauntology,” and Sylvia Wynter’s work on the “coloniality of being,” Living with Ghosts critically attends to the ghosts, spirits, and phantoms that abound in the modern calamities of Africa’s historical becoming, from the fifteenth century to the present day.

These “ghosts” are the unseen but deeply felt forces – at once dead and alive, visible and invisible, past and present, future and past – that continually disturb individual and collective relations within the African postcolony and throughout the world, leaving behind melancholic traces in archival materials, architecture, landscapes, and subjectivities. Heeding Derrida’s provocation in Specters of Marx (1994), as well as insights from various African indigenous thought systems, this exhibition foregrounds the ethical and political urgency of feeding, communing, and living with these ghosts rather than disavowing, burying, or exorcising them.

By centring contemporary art practice in spectral considerations of violent pasts that continue to linger and of liberatory futures that continue to haunt, Abudu frames the exhibition’s concepts along several axes, from the spatial and the temporal, to the psychological and the spiritual.

Living With Ghosts also includes a lecture series and a reader publication, both of which provide complementary critical perspectives on the exhibition’s overarching concerns with coloniality, decoloniality, and hauntology.

Kojo Abudu is a critic and curator based between London, Lagos, and New York. Informed by decolonial theory, queer theory, African philosophy and Black radical thought, his writings and exhibitions focus on critical art and aesthetic practices from the Global South (particularly Africa and its diasporas) that respond to the world- historical conditions produced by colonial modernity. Kojo holds an MA in Modern & Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University, and a BA from Duke University where he studied philosophy and political science. The first iteration of his ongoing curatorial project, Living With Ghosts, recently opened at the Wallach Art Gallery, New York, in March, 2022. Kojo is a 2022-23 Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program and will be curating a pavilion-bound exhibition, Traces of Ecstasy, for the fourth edition of the Lagos Biennial in 2023.

Installation View, Living With Ghosts, Jul 8 – Aug 5, Pace Gallery, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths, courtesy Pace Gallery


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