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Spike Island presents exhibitions and commissions 2023

2023 Program

Spike Island presents its program of exhibitions and commissions for 2023.

Ayo AkingbadeShow Me The World Mister  
February 18—May 21, 2023 

Ayo Akingbade’s presentation includes two new film commissions made on location in Nigeria. Faluyi follows protagonist Ife on a voyage exploring familial lineage and mysticism through ancestral places, while The Fist is a portrayal of the Guinness brewery in Lagos, where histories of colonialism, industrialization, and labor meet. These films are Akingbade’s most ambitious creations to date, drawing on her concerns in history, placemaking, legacy, and power.

Howardena PindellA New Language 
February 18—May 21, 2023 

An exhibition spanning Howardena Pindell’s six-decade career, from early abstract paintings to explicitly political pieces addressing slavery, violence against Black and Indigenous people, and the AIDS pandemic. The title of the show comes from an essay written by Pindell in the 1980s in which she asks for “a new vocabulary” for people of color working in the arts—one that “empowers us rather than causes us to engage in our own disenfranchisement.”

Engagement Commission: Rachal BradleyForecast  
February 18—May 21, 2023

Rachal Bradley’s Engagement project, created over the course of a year in cooperation with rising West of England-based artists and Creative Youth Network alumni Carlo Hornilla, Tommy Howlett, Lauren Jaffrey, and Calum McCutcheon. Forecast consists of a video piece studying the collective awareness of crows and a mirrored pavilion sculpture dangling from the gallery ceiling, both of which reflect on the basic functions of the psyche and the body and where these meet the reality around us.

Flo Brooks
June 10—September 10, 2023

Flo Brooks’s new commission explores autobiography, memory, and speculative history painting. Paintings on canvas, vinyl flooring, and collaged textiles intertwine fragments of the lives of historical transmasculine figures, such as the 18th century English “female husband” Charles Hamilton, with memories of Brooks’ own adolescence, tracing queer connection and complication across time and space.

Asmaa Jama with Gouled AhmedExcept this time nothing comes back from the ashes 
June 10—September 10, 2023

Asmaa Jama’s new film commission, created in partnership with artist and costume designer Gouled Ahmed. The film was shot in Addis Abeba and follows eerie, glitchy presences haunting a city. The work, inspired by African photography studios, investigates self-portraiture, archive, and memory to analyze who is left out of institutionalised national narratives.

Olu Ogunnaike
September 30, 2023—January 14, 2024

Olu Ogunnaike’s site-specific commission changes Spike Island’s eight-metre-high gallery space, extending the artist’s investigation of the social and historical aspects hidden in the materiality of wood. This monolithic construction mixes handcrafted OSB (oriented strand board) produced from offcuts that reference local wood species with mud obtained from the Avon River, which runs along the building’s façade.

Ofelia Rodríguez
September 30, 2023—January 14, 2024

Ofelia Rodriguez’s first major survey exhibition, bringing together paintings, prints, and sculptures from the last five decades. Despite having lived in London for the majority of her adult life, Rodriguez’s art is influenced by recollections of her birthplace Barranquilla, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. She constructs amusing yet critical tableaus and “magic boxes” that investigate culture and gender identity by combining found objects and pictures rich in symbolism.

Spike Island is a registered charity and part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. All our exhibitions and the majority of our events are free. Our current exhibitions Rosemary Mayer: Ways of Attaching and Lawrence Abu Hamdan: 45th Parallel continue until 15 and 29 January 2023, respectively.

Spike Island
133 Cumberland Road
Bristol BS1 6UX
United Kingdom
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 12–5pm

T +44 117 929 2266
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