Libita Clayton: Quantum Ghost

Spike Island, Bristol, United Kingdom
06 Jul 2019 - 08 Sep 2019

Libita Clayton, Quantum Ghost (2019) Installation view. Commissioned and produced by Gasworks. Courtesy of the artist. Photo Andy Keate

Libita Clayton, Quantum Ghost (2019) Installation view. Commissioned and produced by Gasworks. Courtesy of the artist. Photo Andy Keate

Spike Island presents Quantum Ghost, a major new commission by Bristol-based artist and Spike Island studio holder Libita Clayton. Comprising an immersive sound installation, a series of large-scale photograms and a programme of live performances, Quantum Ghost maps a journey through archives and territories related to the artist’s heritage.

Digging deep into personal documents and oral histories, the exhibition unearths the subterranean histories and political undercurrents connecting the mining regions of Namibia and Cornwall. From mined ores and sedimentary rocks to precious metals and rare earths, it examines the raw materials at the core of capitalist extraction, revealing how the echoes of colonialism and diasporic migration reverberate through the deep-time of geology.

Libita Clayton is a British-Namibian artist who works across sound and performance. She also organises workshops and discursive events developed in partnership with DIY organisations, broadcasters and publishers. Recent exhibitions and performances include: 4717, RCA/LUX, Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London; Memento Mori, Kalashnikovv 3.0, Johannesburg (all 2018); DEBUNK, Arnolfini, Bristol; History Lessons: Fluid Records, South London Gallery/Iniva, London; Going Along Without a Body, Iklectik, London; Lexis Over Land—Towards a Feminist Geography, Tremenheere Sculpture Gallery, Cornwall (all 2017). Her work was included in the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, 2017.

Quantum Ghost was commissioned and produced by Gasworks, London through the Freelands Gasworks Partnership. Supported by Freelands Foundation and Arts Council England.


Friday 5 July 2019: 7.30pm
Performance: Imani Robinson and Libita Clayton

Welcome Note in a Welcome Speech
A spoken word performance inviting guests into the exhibition, written by Libita Clayton and performed by artist and curator Imani Robinson.


Thursday 25 July 2019: 6.30–8pm
In Conversation: Libita Clayton and Robert Leckie

Libita Clayton discusses the themes of her exhibition, including diasporic migration, mining, and sonic archaeology, with Spike Island director Robert Leckie.


Saturday 7 September 2019: 7–8pm
Closing Performance: Demelza Toy Toy, Jol Thomson, Hannah Catherine Jones and Libita Clayton

A live experimental lament to mark the closure of Quantum Ghost. Performed by Libita Clayton and her collaborators Demelza Toy Toy, Jol Thomson and Hannah Catherine Jones, the work comprises field recordings, theremin and live speech.

Titled ‘My voice is so deep it’s buried in the ground’, this new, hour-long iteration of an electronic soundscape stems from Clayton’s long-standing interest in the lament: a song, piece of music, or poem expressing grief or sorrow.




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