A group exhibition at the Koppel Hive Project, Holborn Viaduct, presented by Kanbi Projects, an art advisory and curatorial organisation with a focus on artists from Africa and the diaspora.
(above) Eddie Saint-Jean Arts reviewer
The exhibition’s title comes from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s book ‘Between the World and Me’ where he writes: “I recall that even then I had not yet begun to imagine the perils that tangle us.” He speaks about the subjugation of the black body.
The 12 artists, working in painting, photography, video and sculpture, use diverse visual language to express themes around race and the complexities of blackness.
The artists: Julius Agbaje, Adesina Adegboyega, Odinakachi Okoroafor, Anne Adams, Chiderah Bosah, Austin Uzor, Chukwudubem Ukaigwe, Iyunade Judah, Hannah Uzor, Tobi Alexandra Falade, Paul Majek, Kehinde Awofeso
From the subtext of the floating, dance-like gestures in Chukwudubem Ukaigwe’s IGBA video projection to the religious iconography of Julius Agbaje’s stained glass inspired Familiar Crossroads, there’s a distinct and layered voice in every piece yet a thematic chorus beyond the disparate forms.
The ‘untangling’ speaks of understanding race through visual dialogue. The burst of colour in the upper gallery is a subterfuge to draw you into this discussion. But on closer inspection, the thematically layered tones and applications represent much more than the decorative or visually pleasing. And the Koppel Project Hive is the ideal space. One feels the hallowed white wall experience associated with contemporary galleries, less stuffy in this two-floor gallery on Holborn Viaduct.
Julius Agbaje’s powerful Familiar Crossroads (2021) acrylic on canvas shows two headless figures in a finger touching pose that brings to mind Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. One carries a cross, the other an axe. His other work outside of this exhibition also repeats this headless feature. The stained glass inspiration is another running theme in his work.
WHAT? – Untangling The Perils That Tangle Us group exhibition
WHERE? – Koppel Project Hive, 26-30 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2AT (Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane)
WHEN? – 15th November – 17th December 2021, Mon to Fri 10am – 6pm