There are even moonbeams we can unfold builds on Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze’s first exhibition with Goodman Gallery, SALT WATER. Intended as an exhibition trilogy, this second iteration of the body of work adapts its title from a poem by André Breton that speaks to the poetic fluidity of space. The exhibition largely consists of new work, as well as several works on paper produced during a 2016/17 residency at The Drawing Centre in New York.
In her drawings, Amanze invites viewers into her ongoing construction of an expansive and timeless alternate world inhabited by a cohort of beings who move through it freely. These beings exist rather than perform, embracing the mundane, the non-specific and the fluid as ultimate freedoms. In narratives typically prescribed to non-European artists, the appearance of human or pseudo-human forms leans heavily on identity as its raison d’être. amanze instead advocates for the imagined construct of space and the nuance of characters that can be read primarily as form and shape. Amanze’s characters – ada, audre, merman and others – relate intimately to one another in that regard: shapes that, despite appearing flat, are somehow activated to move, dive and swim in their stillness. The exhibition runs 19 May – 16 June 2018 in South Africa.