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Go See: Paul Maheke

Sheridan Hayes

Insights Editor

Chisenhale Gallery presents a new commission and the first major solo exhibition in a UK art space by artist Paul Maheke.

A thought provoking performance that will challenge audiences to rethink their understanding of gender, race and sexuality with a new set of tools.

Featured image credit: Paul Maheke, ‘A fire circle for a public hearing’ (2018). Produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London. Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and Vleeshal Center for Contemporary Art, Middelburg. Photo: Mark Blower.

 

French-born artist Paul Maheke has gone from strength to strength after having been awarded South London Gallery’s Post-Graduate Residency. Having exhibited work all around the world, it was here in London Paul has chosen to be his creative home.

With a particular attention to dance and the true potential of the ‘archive’ body, race and gender are central to Paul’s work, but not in the sense that he addresses them as subjects. Rather they are, as he describes, modes of production, “My work is not about blackness or queerness, but rather is queer and black.”

‘A fire circle for a public hearing’ makes for quite a change for Maheke as he transcends from performer to choreographer in his recent exhibit.

Casting three female performers to embody different characters, such as the ghost, the drag king and the oracle, the series of daily choreographies combine spoken word, movement and dance.

Renowned for his immersive performance-based installations, Maheke boldly commands the entire gallery space.

Credit: Paul Maheke, ‘A fire circle for a public hearing’ (2018). Produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London. Commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and Vleeshal Center for Contemporary Art, Middelburg. Photo: Mark Blower.

By removing the door and window coverings, Paul creates an open and vulnerable space where his truths and thoughts are manifest for all to see, hear and feel.

Through incorporating installation, video, sound and performance, the exhibition alters and adapts throughout its duration. And in doing so, the audiences’ questioning of preconceived notions of gender, race and sexuality also evolves.

As part of the commissioning process, a programme of events has been devised in collaboration with Maheke, including talks and performances at the gallery and offsite events at local schools.

Three different performance chapters are planned over the eight-week course of the show. Part 1, which ran from on 13 April until early May, structured around a homage to performance artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s 1991 piece, Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform).

 

Check out the Paul Maheke’s exhibition page on the Chisenhale gallery website to find out more.

Chisenhale.org.uk

 

‘A fire circle for a public hearing’

FREE

13 April 2018 – 10 June 2018

Daily performances start at 3pm throughout the duration of the exhibition and last for 45 minutes.

Part 2: A place you only go through 2 May – 20 May 2018 Performed by: Carrie Topley

Part 3: Entanglements (the assembly) 23 May – 10 June 2018 Performed by: Titilayo Adebayo and Heather Agyepong.

 

Chisenhale Gallery

64 Chisenhale Road

London, E3 5QZ