ART NIGHT 2021
CCA Derry~Londonderry has partnered with ART NIGHT 2021 to screen Alberta Whittle’s film trilogy Creating dangerously (we-I insist!) in the CCA Project Space, Tuesday 6 July–Saturday 17 July 2021.
Alberta Whittle participated in CCA’s first digital residency of 2021 entitled Creating Dangerously, which you can still see on our website here.
Creating dangerously (we-I insist!) groups together HOLDING THE LINE: a refrain in two parts with existing film works Business as usual: hostile environment (a REMIX) and RESET, as a trilogy of films.
“After a devastating eighteen months of socio-political catastrophe, Creating dangerously (we-I insist!) speculates on the optics of protest, channels of refusal, as well as the desire for pleasure and softness...Researched and produced as urgent meditations on freedom, this trilogy of films attempts to straddle a sense of looking back and looking forward whilst still being immersed in both epidemiological and political strife’.”
– Alberta Whittle
business as usual: hostile environment (a REMIX) (2021) explores the ways in which political and ecological climates shape one another. Dispersed across three interconnected sites along Glasgow’s Forth and Clyde Canal, the work utilises the physical canal infrastructure as both a literal and poetic route through which to reflect on the role of waterways in the voluntary and involuntary movement of people. Through creating a movable and mutating encounter, the project highlights the dual nature of the environment, as a set of conditions capable of both hostility and nurture. business as usual: hostile environment was produced for Glasgow International and is informed by collective thinking, making and discussion with women from the Maryhill Integration Network’s Joyous Choir.
HOLDING THE LINE: a refrain in two parts (2021) is Alberta Whittle’s newly commissioned film for Art Night. Taking the voice of the River Thames as a starting point, and working with science fiction writer Ama Josephine Budge, Whittle’s new film will look at colonial histories and police brutality to consider our relationship to current ecological and political climates. Holding the Line also looks to imagined futures, offering time and space for healing and reset.
RESET (2020) explores timely questions relating to personal healing and the cultivation of hope in hostile environments, such as the present global pandemic or colonialism. Filmed across Barbados, Cuba, South Africa and the United Kingdom, RESET is informed by the writings of queer theorist, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, interweaving gothic imagery, fears of contagion, xenophobia and the ensuing moral panic that often follows such anxieties. RESET, which was co-produced and co-commissioned by Forma and Frieze, is an urgent political film that strikes the balance between grief and reflection, empathy and desire.
This summer, ART NIGHT is expanding across the country, taking place in locations from Skye to Eastbourne at a range of sites including billboards, country parks, train stations and on an island. ART NIGHT commissions will also be broadcast online for a global audience at https://artnight.london and on partner websites across the festival month, including a marathon evening where all commissions will be shown in partnership with Somerset House (supported by The Adonyeva Foundation) on Thursday 15 July 2021.
ART NIGHT 2021 artists are: Guerrilla Girls, Alberta Whittle, Isabel Lewis, Oona Doherty, Adham Faramawy, Mark Leckey, Sonya Dyer, Imran Perretta & Paul Purgas, Philomène Pirecki and OOMK. The festival is curated by ART NIGHT Artistic Director, Helen Nisbet and is titled Nothing Compares 2U, after the song penned by Prince and most famously performed by Sinéad O’Connor. The programme takes inspiration from defiance in small acts and moments of self-determination, both personal and collective.
Alberta was awarded a Turner Bursary, the Frieze Artist Award and a Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award in 2020. Alberta 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 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.
Over 2021, Alberta will be sharing new work as part of Art Night London, British Art Show 9, Liverpool Biennial, business as usual : hostile environment at Glasgow Sculpture Studios and Right of Admission at the University of Johannesburg.
Alberta’s writing has been published in MAP magazine, Visual Culture in Britain, Visual Studies, Art South Africa and Critical Arts Academic Journal.