Melody LaVerne Bettencourt, Karina Griffith, Lerato Shadi: The Company We Keep

Melody LaVerne Bettencourt, Karina Griffith, Lerato Shadi


Ausstellungsansicht The Company We Keep, 2015.


13.9.-16.10.2015 //
Mi-Sa 16:00-19:00

Eröffnung & Artist Talk

12.9.2015 // 19:00
Artist Talk // 20:00
Moderation: Stacie CC Graham


Bilder Eröffnung & Ausstellung


Fotos: alpha nova & galerie futura

Installation – Malerei – Video

In ihren Arbeiten beschäftigen sich die Künstlerinnen mit den Themen Rassismus und Marginalisierung Schwarzer kulturschaffender Frauen und Frauen of Color sowie mit Strategien der Selbstermächtigung.

Artist Statement
As Black women living in white spaces that are not open to us, we wanted to thematize what it would be like or look like to live in a Black-friendly world, with the understanding that pro-Black does not mean anti-white, even though historically pro-white has meant anti anybody else. As Black women, as artists, as sisters, as mothers, we are cultural producers. As such we must deal with the fact that our perspectives are neither represented nor heard. The expectation when walking into a gallery space is to find white walls, just as it is expected to walk in to spaces of power and privilege and find that those spaces are white spaces. In Germany, Europe, whiteness equals „neutral“. We are questioning that.
Wir definieren uns selbst und lassen uns nicht definieren
. We locate tomorrow by becoming our own storytellers. We listen to the pain in Black knowledge. It is present in our growing consciousness. Our interconnectedness is our history and our strength. We invite the Black Atlantic to the table. Whether the Black women on the wall are famous or not is irrelevant. They reflect our complexity and our diversity. We are all of them and they are all of us.

This is the company we keep.

Melody Laverne Bettencourt, Karina Griffith, Lerato Shadi

Melody LaVerne Bettencourt und ihre Kunst werden in vielen deutschen Städten zelebriert, und in den letzten Jahren insbesondere in Berlin, ihrer Heimatstadt. Bettencourt beschreibt ihr Vorhaben für die Ausstellung wie folgt: „Nachdem ich in den letzten 3 Monaten kleinformatige Monotypie-Serien erstellt habe (32x24cm), möchte ich nun eine Serie im Format 70×50 cm machen. Ich benutze die Drucktechnik der Monotypie, um spielerisch meine eigenen und vorhandene Symbole immer wieder neu auf dem Papier anzuordnen. Die Farben sind teils satt und kontrastierend, dann wieder transparent und lasierend. Meine Geschichte wird immer wieder neu erfunden. Ich nehme Bezug auf Schwarze Widerstandskultur, die sich auch immer wieder neue Wege des Ausdrucks suchen musste.“

Karina Griffith’s installations and work with the moving image challenge notions of identity and belonging. Her films explore the themes of fear and fantasy, often focussing on how they relate to identity and the immigrant perspective. By juxtaposing seemingly different documentary footage, she creates contrasts that explore personal phobias to expose the universality of alienation.  Her work has screened at numerous festivals, and has been exhibited at museums and galleries in North America and Europe, including the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa and the Marshall McLuhan Media Centre in Berlin, Germany. In 2014, Galerie Myrtis named her one of the “International Artist to Watch”.

Lerato Shadi lives and works in Berlin. She completed a BFA in Fine Art from the University of Johannesburg. In 2009 she was included in the The Generational: ‘Younger Than Jesus artistsdirectory’ published by the New Museum, New York. In 2010 she was awarded a Pro Helvetia residency in Bern. In the same year she had her solo exhibition ‘Mosako Wa Seipone’ at GoetheonMain in Johannesburg. From 2010 to 2012 she was a member of the Bag Factory artist studios in Johannesburg. In 2012 her work was featured at the Dak’art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal and in the III Moscow International Biennale. She is a fellow of Sommerakademie 2013 (Zentrum Paul Klee) and completed in the same year a residency program by invitation of INIVA at Hospitalfield (supported by ROSL). In 2014 she was awarded with the mart stam studio grant. Currently she is completing her MFA at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee. Lerato Shadi explores assumptions about the Black female body and how performance, video and installation creates a space to make the body both visible and invisible. Using time, repetitive actions as well as stillness, she questions ‘How does one create oneself?’.

Die Ausstellung findet statt im Rahmen der Reihe “Prekäre Kunst: Protest & Widerstand”.

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