Time Out Of Joint
23rd January – 5th March 2021
Tamara Kametani, Maria Mahfooz and Rene Matić
Curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight
Time Out Of Joint is an exhibition exploring the idea of the archive, considering a number of elements from within our culture and society that are far too often unconsidered and actively concealed in the present day, but will be reflected upon and studied in the near and far future. The exhibition acts as a time capsule, exhibiting several works that reflect upon various aspects of our current state of affairs.
The exhibition takes its name from the 1959 novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick. Within the dystopian text the nature of reality is continually questioned and the protagonist, Ragle Gumm, experiences the world unravelling around him. Throughout the book Gumm spends most of his time living in a mentally and physically fabricated version of the year 1959, occasionally breaking out of his counterfeit world and into the actual present day, in the year 1998. The invented world eventually crumbles, exposing the harsh realities of the present, forcing Gumm to recognise and learn from his past mistakes.
The works included in Time Out Of Joint consider and highlight fundamental issues that have been, and continue to be, inadvertently or otherwise ingrained within people and places, from reflecting on the pernicious nature of the white gaze to exploring the notion of borders, separation and the freedom of movement.
Tamara Kametani’s 2019 artwork Walls 2.0: Augmenting border reality is an experience enabled by a multiplayer augmented reality app that explores the notion of borders, separation, and the freedom of movement. Reacting to the growing global desire to build more walls between us, under the promise of greater safety and security, participants use a new AR app on smartphones that creates a temporary virtual wall between them, enabling them to experience the separation in real life. Rather than designed for individual use alone, the app is intended for multiple users all interacting with the same wall, questioning whether an experience shared amongst the group and its inherent dynamics is any different from experiencing the wall alone. Within the context of the online exhibition the app has been deconstructed and repurposed, with elements from the work scattered throughout the show. You can also download the app and experience the wall in its original form within your own home by clicking here.
Two of Maria Mahfooz’s recent videos are included in the exhibition. Mahfooz’s work is often autobiographical and guided by her identity as a visibly brown muslim. Her 2019 film 30 Questions with Maria Mahfooz is a parody of Vogues’s ’73 questions with..’ series in which the magazine interviews celebrities as they walk around their house. In Mahfooz’s version the artist created a surrogate digital representation of herself situated on the physical streets of Manor Park in London, an act of reframing and restaging tropes as a signifier of her dislocation of identity in a loss of what constitutes as her selfhood. Superficial questions being asked of the artist subtly shift to inquiries regarding racial abuse and embedded prejudice, as well as echoing the duality of her cultural background. A 2018 work of Mahfooz’s, Arab Fuckers, is also included in the exhibition. The video consists of an animated recreation of a porn video found online, between a German man and a Syrian refugee. The recreation and reframing of the video is to reference the dramatic rise in search of ‘refugee porn’ online and exploitation of these brown bodies serving as disposable narratives under the white gaze.
Rene Matić’s 2019 film Brown girl in the art world III is accompanied by another, unseen film by Matić from 2019, titled the changing face. Brown girl in the art world III features Matić both dancing and performing in front of a vacated pub in Cornwall. The slowed down visuals are accompanied by a voiceover, addressing the complexities surrounding being a Black womxn artist, feeling both restricted and angry about how the art world sees them and their work, as well as questioning their own artwork and its mode of production. The final artwork in the exhibition, the changing face, again sees Matić dancing in a public place, this time in Camberwell, London. Taking its title from a 1963 documentary titled 'The Changing Face of Camberwell', Matić saw the production of the work as a way of archiving the billboard in a way that encompassed their body in order to be decontextualized. These works are part of a series that documents Matić’s body in spaces of diaspora and movement in order to re-archive and re-frame the past and present.
The exhibition takes the form of a fabricated restricted site, where the artworks on show are regulated and controlled, obscured behind manufactured border walls and hidden by obtuse warning signs. Audience members are invited to break through the controlled space to discover the artworks buried within. However, if you wish to simply view the exhibited artworks, click here. Both exhibition formats are best viewed on desktop.
The exhibition is kindly supported by Arts Council England.
The exhibition is part of a six month program consisting of four online exhibitions, culminating in a physical book and online panel discussion. Each exhibition is connected by the overarching theme of Networks, exposing and exploring the underlying architecture of our daily lives, investigating the social, political, digital and hierarchical networks that we reside within.
The program opened in October 2020, ends in April 2021 and is kindly supported by Arts Council England.
Tamara Kametani is a visual artist based in London whose research includes border politics, surveillance, internet, and the proliferation of technology. She is particularly interested in the role that technology plays in the construction of contemporary and historical narratives and the new experiences it enables. She holds an MA Contemporary Art Practice, Public Sphere, from the Royal College of Art. Solo and group exhibitions include: TransLocal Cooperation, Furtherfield, London (2020); Digital Diaspora, Centrala, Birmingham; Swayze Effect, curated by AGORAMA, Platform Southwark; For the Time Being, curated by Royal College of Art MA Curating Contemporary Art, The Photographers’ Gallery, London; 404 - Resistance in the Digital Age with RAGE collective, Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art, Manchester (2019); and [ENTER], Triennial of Photography Hamburg, Hamburg (2018); amongst others. She has been awarded placements on the British Council run Connect for Creativity residency in Athens, Off Site Project Google Maps Artist Residency, the AGORAMA Artist Residency at Raven Row and the Florence Trust Artist in Residence programme.
Maria Mahfooz (b. 1995, London, UK), is a London based artist currently working on themes of othering framed within the context of internet culture and using herself as a direct source of reference. The work is often autobiographical guided by her identity as a visible muslim woman of colour. Her practice interrogates themes of representation, construction of selfhood and the intersections at play. Her recent solo exhibitions include ‘It’s not easy being green’, Leave of Absence Gallery, London (2020). Group exhibitions and screenings include: ‘Offsite project, Google Maps Residency’, with Sara Gulamali (2020); ‘Behind the Zines’, Rabbits Road Press, London (2019); ‘The Age of New Babylon’, Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, (2018); ‘Normal to Dissent’, Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, (2018); ‘Metaphonica IV: The House of Beyond Sound’, The Street, Central Saint Martins, (2018); Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, (2017, 2018, 2019). With fellow Central Saint Martins alumni Hugo Hutchins, Mahfooz co-curated and featured in ‘BABEL’, Willesden Galley, London (2019). In 2019 she was the recipient of the Sid Motion Gallery Prize as well as being selected as a resident in the Associate Studio Programme, and is a Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2020 artist.
Rene Matić (b. 1997, Peterborough, UK) is an artist currently working in London. Their work brings together themes of post-blackness, glitch feminism and subcultural theory in a meeting place they describe as rude(ness) – bringing to light (or dark) the fated conflicts and contradictions that one encounters while navigating the world in a body like their own.
Matić’s research reaches back to post-war Britain and the survival tactics and ‘tap dances’ of Britain’s Brown babies. They take their departure point from dance and music movements such as Northern soul, Ska and 2-Tone. Matić’s current work predominantly explores the Skinhead movement, its founding as a multicultural marriage between West Indian and white working-class culture and its subsequent co-option by far-right white supremacists. They use this as a metaphor to examine their own experience of living in the Black British diaspora, to excavate white jealousy, the continued legacy of colonialism and the fear of a Black planet - all things which find convergence within and upon their mixed-race identity.