In the final episode of Living Archives, Alberta Whittle and Sekai Machache think together about freedom, urgency and slowness, their many transnational and international collaborations, and their feelings about edges.
Conversation transcript available here. Listen to more episodes here.
Living Archives is an oral histories project co-produced by the Stuart Hall Foundation and the International Curators Forum. The project is made up of six intergenerational conversations. Each conversation considers an alternative history of contemporary Britain through the testimony of UK-based diasporic artists working between the 1980s and the present-day. The project will form, what Stuart Hall calls, a “living archive of the diaspora” which maps the development, endurance, and centrality of diasporic artistic production in Britain.
Hosted by ICF’s Deputy Artistic Director, Jessica Taylor, practitioners reflected on the reasons they became artists, the development of their practices, the different moments and movements they bore witness to, and the beautiful reasons they chose to be in conversation with each other.
Hosted by Jessica Taylor
Edited by Chris Browne
Designs by Yolande Mutale
Music by LOX
Alberta Whittle is an artist, researcher, and curator. She was awarded a Turner Bursary, the Frieze Artist Award, and a Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award in 2020. Alberta is a PhD candidate at Edinburgh College of Art and is a Research Associate at The University of Johannesburg. She was a RAW Academie Fellow at RAW Material in Dakar in 2018 and is the Margaret Tait Award winner for 2018/9.
Her creative practice is motivated by the desire to manifest self-compassion and collective care as key methods in battling anti-blackness. She choreographs interactive installations, using film, sculpture, and performance as site-specific artworks in public and private spaces.
Alberta has exhibited and performed in various solo and group shows, including at Jupiter Artland (2021), Gothenburg Biennale (2021), The Lisson Gallery (2021), MIMA (2021), Viborg Kunstal (2021), Remai Modern (2021), Liverpool Biennale (2021), Art Night London (2021), The British Art Show – Aberdeen (2021), Glasgow International (2021), Glasgow International (2020), Grand Union (2020), Eastside Projects (2020), DCA (2019), GoMA, Glasgow (2019), Pig Rock Bothy at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2019), 13th Havana Biennale, Cuba (2019), The Tyburn Gallery, London (2019), The City Arts Centre, Edinburgh (2019), The Showroom, London (2018), National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (2018), RAW Material, Dakar (2018), FADA Gallery, Johannesburg (2018), the Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg (2017), FRAMER FRAMED, Amsterdam (2015), Goethe On Main, Johannesburg (2015), at the Johannesburg Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice (2015), and BOZAR, Brussels (2014), amongst others.
Her work has been acquired for the UK National Collections, The Scottish National Gallery Collections, Glasgow Museums Collections and The Contemporary Art Research Collection at Edinburgh College of Art amongst other private collections.
Alberta is representing Scotland at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. And over 2021, Alberta will be sharing new work as part of the British Art Show 9, RESET at Jupiter Artland, Right of Admission at the University of Johannesburg, Art from Britain and The Caribbean at Tate Modern, Sex Ecologies at Kunstal Trondheim, Norway, In The Castle Of My Skin (MIMA) and Gothenburg Biennale (2021).
Alberta’s writing has been published in MAP magazine, Visual Culture in Britain, Visual Studies, Art South Africa and Critical Arts Academic Journal.
Sekai Machache (she/they) is a Zimbabwean-Scottish visual artist and curator based in Glasgow, Scotland. Her work is a deep interrogation of the notion of self, in which photography plays a crucial role in supporting an exploration of the historical and cultural imaginary.
Aspects of her photographic practice are formulated through digital studio-based compositions utilising body paint and muted lighting to create images that appear to emerge from darkness.
In recent works she expands to incorporate other media and approaches that can help to evoke that which is invisible and undocumented. She is interested in the relationship between spirituality, dreaming and the role of the artist in disseminating symbolic imagery to provide a space for healing against contexts of colonialism and loss.
Sekai is the recipient of the 2020 RSA Morton Award and is an artist in residence with the Talbot Rice Residency Programme 2021-2023.
Sekai works internationally and often collaboratively, for and with her community and is a founding and organising member of theYon Afro Collective (YAC).
Produced with funding from the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) and Arts Council England.