FACT, Liverpool, United Kingdom 02 Dec 2022 - 09 Apr 2023
Josèfa Ntjam, When the moon dreamed of the ocean (2022). Installation view at FACT Liverpool. Photo by Rob Battersby
For the winter season, the worlds of artists Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley and Josèfa Ntjam collide in a free immersive exhibition. Working across archives, maps and video games, the artists consider how acts of resistance, rebuilding and reimagining can lead to transformative new worlds.
Josèfa’s work reexamines history in the aftermath of colonialism and the Transatlantic slave trade. Her richly layered works reference counter-cultural movements and non-Western histories that symbolise ideas of resistance, transformation and freedom. Josèfa presents these symbols within an interstellar, underground cave filled with jellyfish, plankton and mushrooms. These natural life forms survive by communicating through networks and signals that they create amongst themselves. By drawing parallels between our human behaviour and natural processes, she demonstrates how spaces of solidarity, care and revolution can thrive in darkness.
Danielle opens access to new worlds designed with The Bandidos, a group of young people from Liverpool. When Danielle and the group first started working together, she asked: what doesn’t Liverpool have that you need? What does your world need? And, if you had everything you needed to live, what would you want? Danielle creates artworks that archive the experiences of Black Trans people and communities who can be otherwise underserved. Here, she brings to life The Bandidos’ imaginative visions, developing a video game that can be explored online and through four portals inside the gallery.
Both Danielle and Josèfa’s worlds play with time to shift our view on how the past impacts our present. If conflicting versions of history can exist, so can alternative possibilities for our future. Through their careful observations of archives and understanding of needs, they show us how acts of resistance, rebuilding and reimagining can lead to transformative new worlds.
This exhibition will be the final instalment of Radical Ancestry, FACT’s year-long exploration into the sense of belonging. This programme of exhibitions, projects, residencies and events look at how history, geography, biology and culture shape our ancestral history and question how technology can help us to explore new ways of thinking and experimenting with who we are.