Paul Maheke: I lost track of the swarm

South London Gallery, London, United Kingdom
13 Mar 2016 - 22 May 2016

Paul Maheke: I lost track of the swarm

Still from: Tropicalité, l’île et l’exote, 2014; Courtesy by the Artist

Following six months as the South London Gallery’s Graduate-inResidence in the Outset Artists’ Flat, Paul Maheke presents his first solo show in a public institution.

Maheke’s exhibition and accompanying events programme look at pulsating and desiring brown and black bodies as affective and political archives. In shedding a (lavender) ray of light on empowered narratives, I Lost Track of the Swarm strives to unfold the intricate layers of the production of subjectivity.

While exploring the question of visibility through Georges Bataille’s notion of formlessness (L’Informe), Maheke refers to the dance club by turning the white rooms of the gallery into a vibrating space within which dance and music operate as means of resistance and gestures of remembrance.

Supported by Fluxus.


The exhibition includes the following events:

Film Screening: ‘Tongues United’, Wed 6 Apr, 7pm

On the occasion of his graduate residency, Paul Maheke selects Tongues Untied (1989) by Marlon Riggs, which investigates gay black identity in New York in the late 1980s.


Reading: ‘For Shore’, Wed 4 May, 7.30pm, Michael Dean reads sic glyphs.


Paul Maheke in Conversation, Wed 18 May, 7pm

Paul Maheke discusses how dance has been key in his practice and life to articulate and engage with decolonial and feminist thoughts.


Artist Biography:

Maheke has recently completed a programme of study at Open School East, after receiving an MA in Art Practice at l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy (FR) in 2011.

His practice is grounded in emancipatory and decolonial thought with an emphasis on cultural identities and new subjectivities. His current research focuses – through video, installation, sculpture and furtive interventions – on the body as both an archive and a territory, as a utopia to be reimagined through different strategies of resistance. With particular attention to dance, he proposes to defuse the power relations that shape Western imaginations and to rearticulate the representations that emerge from them.

Over the past year Maheke has pursued his research initiating a series of public conversations, at Open School East, entitled Beyond Beyoncé: Use It Like a Bumper!, which considered Hip-Hop cultures through the lens of Queer and Black Feminist theory. Other selected group exhibitions and residencies include; Ruptures, ABI, cur. Katy Orkisz, London (2015); artist-in-residence at Darling Foundry, Montreal, Canada (2015); ODRADEK, Les Instants Chavirés, cur. Mikaela Assolent + Flora Katz, Montreuil, France (2015); Re-former le monde visible, Le 116, cur. Marlène Rigler, Montreuil, France (2014); 59th Salon de Montrouge, Montrouge, France (2014); artist-in-residence at CIAP – Île de Vassivière, France (2014); Videoakt, French Institute, Barcelona, Spain (2013); VIVA!, at Centre CLARK, Montreal, Canada (2012); «Pratiques Furtives» : fragments d’une enquête, cur. Patrice Loubier, Skol art center, Montreal, Canada (2012). 

Upcoming: Green Ray Turns Out To Be Mauve, Green Ray, London (March 2016, solo show); performance at Guest Projects, London (April 2016);Take the Weight, SixtyEight Art Institute, cur. Tom Clark + Iben Elmstrom, Copenhagen, Denmark (2017, group show)