198 Contemporary Arts and Learning is pleased to present REEL: Dyke Hands, a group show of short films by black lesbians.* From an international open call that received over 50 submissions from across the globe, Languid Hands have selected short films from 8 artists to be displayed on a loop in the gallery for eight weeks. Selected works are made by artists from the USA, UK, Trinidad & Tobago and Botswana, and include artist moving image, narrative, mockumentary, essay film and archival assemblage.
Munesu Mukombe’s Everything Happens Under The Sun interweaves elements of poetry, musical theatre, abstract imagery, and sound design to chronicle the artists personal encounters with isolation and alienation, delving into the loneliness inherent in confronting societal discrimination. Leila Weefur’s Tillage & Fury is a portrait of anger as a product of Black ecology; an essay-film exploring the eco-geography of rice cultivation and the life cycle of the fly, both of which are indelibly linked to Black life. ariella tai’s look back at me uses digital glitch and analog video processing tools to create visual and sonic altars for Black femme pleasure, play, revenge and possibility. Kearra Amaya Gopee’s Ca(r)milla appears to be an excerpt from a documentary surrounding the daily life of the owner of a small landscaping business in Carapichaima, Trinidad and Tobago, however, the owner, is a hybrid of a vampire and a soucouyant. Cat Jones’ The Quiet One explores the interpersonal processing that occurs usually alone, and Reverence serves as a visual & auditory reclamation of Trans Masculine existence through performance. Essence Lotus’ A Proper Burial presents ‘stolen’ imagery & sounds of black communal practices of movement, music, art, thought and language as embodied practices of survival for folks across the African Diaspora. Written by Nana Duncan and directed by Juliana Kasumu, Losing Joy is a narrative short, shot artfully on 16mm film, focusing on a young woman struggling to acknowledge the first anniversary of her sister's death. Rrangwane’s MOSAMO / ancestral alterations, is a slightly longer-form work which will be presented on a separate screen and, focuses on dreams and hallucinations; dreams of disruption, revelation, critique, restoration, spirited schemes, regeneration and of unprecedented being.
In addition to the works selected for REEL, the exhibition will include a selection of experimental films by interdisciplinary artist and author Jamika Ajalon, spanning from the 1990’s until today, and were made in the U.S., Paris, Berlin, and London, specifically Brixton and Portobello. Jamika’s films come directly out of her writing practice, taking the form of experimental documentaries, poetic and sonic videos, exploring the perspectives of black women, language, revolution, intimacy and space.
REEL: Dyke Hands is part of Dyke Hands, an ongoing artistic programming strand focusing on the work of dykes, lesbians, and queer and trans people more broadly, exploring their work through various disciplines including poetry, writing, film, performance, & music.
*We use the terms ‘dyke’ and ‘lesbian’ in an intentional and inclusive way. Our programming centres lesbians and is open to queer and bisexual women, transmasculine people, transfeminine people, intersex & non-binary people who feel comfortable with those (or similar) terms in relation to their identity.
198’s Artistic Programme is supported by Arts Council England, Freelands Foundation and Lambeth Council.