Can publications be porous_ press release May 23 2023Can publications be porous? is an exhibition of works by Sadia Pineda Hameed (LUMIN), Amber Akaunu and Fauziya Johnson (ROOT-ed Zine), co-curated with artist and cultural futurist Lauren Craig. This exhibition takes the Stuart Hall Library as an experimental space questioning the porosity of publishing. Through observing how artists move, think through and reject concepts of collectivity and individuality as separate, this exhibition seeks to share their exploration of expanded publishing through drawing, painting and sculpture.
The exhibition is the third phase of a project initiated by Lauren Craig in 2021 under the title HerStories // Shelf Life, which brings together B/black women and non-binary people of colour collectives who are involved in creative writing and publishing. Highlighting collaborative and rhizomatic methods of cultural production and dissemination, this research project takes a digital peek at the shelf life of collective publishing, from printed matter to digital audiovisual.
The first phase (2021) entailed a roundtable discussion, while the second stage was composed of online 1:2:1 performative interviews (2022). Both phases are now compounded by the third phase as a physical exhibition, where the library becomes a transitional space. Bringing together artists’ interviews and book lists as abstract audio collages, and the artists’ visual responses to a score composed by Lauren Craig through the conceptual modality S:E:P:A:L:S, which will be unpacked in a public programme – questions based on sustainability; experience/engagement; practice/presencing; action/attunement; learning/empowerment; sensitivity.
Lauren Craig says: The artworks in the exhibition aim to challenge the notion of the hierarchy of communication, where a library is a space where the English academic language is the dominant ruler. The exhibition aims to share an expansive sense of cultural theory through publishing. The artists and I are using horizontal approaches – listening, feeling, and being with images, activating multiple senses – as viable ways to receive and send knowledge, where we can have more porous collective relationships with sharing knowledge and learning. The works propose alternative modes and formations for expanding cultural publishing frameworks.
Can publications be porous? has been curated with artist and cultural futurist Lauren Craig, who invites the audience to speculate a trajectory from out-of-print black feminist books to possible notions of publishing futures, offering ideas for collective transformation.
About the artists
Lauren Craig (she/her/hers) is a social-media shy, internet- curious cultural futurist based in London. Her practice intentionally moves slowly between curation, performance, installation, art writing, moving images and auto- ethnographic photography. Through collaborative live engagement, systems thinking and social archival histories, Lauren elevates lived experience as a tool for reframing past and present underexposed narratives.
Fauziya Johnson is a Somali-Dominican, queer artist, curator and producer based in Manchester, who currently works with the contrast and comparing of bodies and architecture, in an aim to decolonise and re-claim spaces and ideologies. She creates her work with the need to communicate social and political history through art, referencing mainly architectural and black history, with personal contributions from a current black, queer and disabled perspective.
Amber Akaunu is a Liverpool born Nigerian-German filmmaker working in cinema and art to document and explore Black culture, identity, and history. Amber is a BAFTA scholar and recent MA film graduate who is currently residing in South London. Her creative practice extends to her role as co-founder and editor of ROOT-ed Zine where she works to support Black, Asian and PoC artists in the North West of England through publishing, workshops, guest lectures, curating, and producing.
Sadia Pineda Hameed is a Filipina Pakistani artist and writer based in the Ebbw Valley, Wales. She works in film, installation, text and performance to explore collective and inherited trauma; in particular, the latent ways we speak about this through dreaming, telepathic communion and secrets as an anti-colonial strategy inherent to us. Sadia received the Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Artists 2021. She often works with Beau W Beakhouse as a collaborative duo. Together they are on the g39 Fellowship 2022-24, and run small press and radio project LUMIN.