In Finding Soul, at Blank 100 in Dalston which is on until Sunday 16th July, interdisciplinary artist Rohan Ayinde, curator Yewande “Yo Yo” Odunubi and film-maker Tayo Rapoport explore the intertwined layers of community as a place of encounter and shared practices, an artistic awakening and a multisensory journey through the human, social, political and creative sides of the idea of community.
Community is home: through a series of photo from the artists’ personal collections, the audience is welcomed in an intimate space made of the texture of memories and a bittersweet but grateful nostalgia. The pictures enact a joyful proliferation of anecdotes, a process of collective storytelling where friends and family open about birthdays, first dates, odd fashion choices and the collective experience of sharing spaces and experience. An interactive and multicultural “family photo album” that pays an intense but playful homage to their families, friends and interlinked webs as a vital source of inspiration and support.
If these walls could talk gushes the spirit of a chosen companionship: the works on the walls, zines, records, photos and books picture a world of connections and relationships built throughout a lifetime. The community like a human and creative collage of experiences which makes sense only if meant as a broader and inclusive portrait of many lives entwined.
Beneath the surface, with its audiovisual work, opens the door of a physical and sensorial perception of community. From the personal and social experience of dancing, a trip to the market punctuated with the sounds and scents of the casual encounter with people and their stories, to the community generated by the human chains of volunteers in the aftermath of Grenfell fire, the film explores both the performativity and intimacy of self-perception and the interaction with others, the deep sense of identity embodied in the personal and political, the individual and collective, physical and ideal, said and unsaid.
The portraits in the last room, Drink, mark the inception of the project: intimate, delicate, intense, visually powerful and tender, the pictures guide the audience through a breathtaking journey into the artists’ and their communities’ human space, feelings, emotions, thoughts.
Some of the subjects were captured in deep contemplation, some of them in a silent and blue moment of reflection. The intimacy and affection that saturate the works allow us to develop a conversation about the vital and vibrant matter of community and connections.
Finding Soul is a crystalline and deep journey into one the most crucial and transformative elements of our life. Through the Ayinde’s, Odunibi’s and Rapoport’s thorough and delicate gazes, and the unmissable contribution of the people who constantly inspired, supported and befriended them, the exhibition celebrates the many layers and shades of community, identity and creativity, allowing the audience to experience the visceral and tangible journey through the voices, faces, skins, eyes, lips, smiles and tears of the people whose energy, love and creativity inspired it.
The exhibition will be at “Upstairs at the Ritzy” from Tuesday 1st August – Monday 14th August with an opening event on the Tuesday evening and a screening if the film, starting from 7.30PM. Follow the Facebook event for updates and visit the website for more info) When 14th – 16th July 10AM – 6PM. Closing Night with Touching Bass: Sun 16th July 6.30PM – 11PM. Where: Blank 100 (100 De Beauvoir Road, Unit 5, N1 4EN, London, UK). Image credit: Rohan Ayinde
Tickets: Last day (pay-what-you-feel on Eventbrite)