Hannah Black
Some Context

Emily LaBarge
Chisenhale Gallery, London, U.K.
September 22 — December 10, 2017
Hannah Black_Transitional Object 5 & 6
Hannah BlackTransitional Object 5 & 6, 2017.
Photo : Andy Keate, courtesy of Chisenhale Gallery, London
Chisenhale Gallery, London, U.K.
September 22 — December 10, 2017
In Hannah Black’s site-specific installation at Chisenhale Gallery, there is a “situation.” The situation looms large: it is multi-vocal, fluid, collective, individual. It is literally bound and dispersed, at once legible and illegible. The situation arises within and without many contexts — some of which are made materially explicit, some of which haunt the margins of Black’s work. Some Context is both a series of objects and a text; together and apart. In the centre of the room, a stack of 20,000 books forms a large, irregular shape. The Situation is the title of the book — fragmented narratives and ruminations compiled by Black through a series of conversations with peers. “I’m pretty sure there’s a situation. But do you think there’s only one situation?” asks one voice; “What’s hard is describing the situation,” states another.

Some contributors are named, while others are blacked out, as are portions of the text — an act that both interrupts and enriches the space of reading, the perverse pleasure of language to simultaneously make meaning and to question, to name and to obfuscate. The content of Black’s conversations is myriad: race, gender, art, time, colonialism, capitalism, eco-consciousness, community, social governance, power, responsibility, violence, politics, protest, identity, embodiment — how the body is subject to, and by, all of these forces. The intersections of these issues are the locus of “the situation” around which the voices surge and ebb, circumlocute.

You must be logged in to access this content.

Create your free profile or log in now to read the full text!

My Account
This article also appears in the issue 92 - Democracy

Suggested Reading