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CAMARA TAYLOR: A RANT! A REEL!

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1
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Wednesday, 28 July 2021 to Sunday, 17 October 2021

Exhibition: 28 Jul - 19 Sep 2021

a rant, a reel! is the first London solo exhibition by Glasgow-based artist Camara Taylor, curated by Languid Hands.

Camara Taylor’s a rant! a reel! stems from an ongoing research project that uses ‘silt’ and the process of ‘desilting’ as both metaphor and methodology to examine Scotland’s intimate entanglement and key roles in the development of the current global order. Negotiating flimsy cultural memories, illegible archives and Black gestures, the exhibition acts as a repository for Taylor’s current Transfixions (after Shola von Reinhold) as they work towards a film currently situated in the gut.  

The title acts on multiple registers, invoking Scots language definitions of a rant: to romp, roister, a shout, lively tune or dance, gathering or great noise. A reel, takes the artist Hannah Black’s reading of ‘a word that means both a dance and a preparation for a fall’.

Attending to what theorists Eric A Stanley & Tina Campt have termed the ‘lower frequencies of objection’ Taylor manipulates registers that elide detection, provide cover or communicate feeling, those that are networked modes of refusal that don’t necessarily engage in a direct speaking back/to power, but rather a talking elsewhere. Think of kissing teeth, eye rolls, cut-eye, nod, complaint, finger snap, a walk, a lean, apathy (performed or otherwise), onto-kinetic gestures, as in ‘ways of moving that index ways of being’. Think of gossip, rumour, whispers and conspiracies; those forms of history-making which resist the stoicism and austerity of the typical historical archive. 

Using archival material, rumour and (Black) affect, to move beneath (and beyond) dominant discourses, a rant! a reel! attends to a historical and contemporaneous Black presence through a frame that rejects the parameters imposed by nation states, toward what artist Imani Robinson has called Black Mass. Whether it’s a (mis)reading of the facial expressions in photographs of Black students at the University of Edinburgh in the 1900-1950s, a re-reading of William Davidson composure and posture before his death in 1820, or a re-framing of the Scottish landscapes by African American painter Robert S. Duncanson, a rant, a reel! brings people, histories and legacies found in archives and anecdotes into contact with contemporary lives and organising practices.

a rant, a reel! is curated by Languid Hands as part of their Cubitt Curatorial Fellowship Programme No Real Closure, and will have a series of events soon to be announced. 

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8 Angel Mews
London
N1 9HH

Cubitt , London

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