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Event: Somerset House Studios AGM 2023, a celebration of art & culture

Text by CLOT Magazine

Disguise As Dancefloor RenSoc. Phote credit: Meg T Noe

London Somerset House Studios celebrate their resident artist community with the annual artist-curated party AGM on 13th October 2023.

For this year’s edition, the Studios invited three guest curators to each host different spaces across the ground floor: Studios residents Joe Namy and Akinola Davies and performance artist Rosa-Johan Uddoh, alongside a late opening of Sonya Dyer’s new installation Three Parent Child in the River Rooms. 

In the Lancaster Rooms, artist and composer Joe Namy presents Disguise as Dancefloor, inviting eight collaborators to respond to a custom dancefloor made of copper tiles in a series of improvised performances. Four movement artists have been paired with four DJs, morphing the staging and sonic texture of the room throughout the night. DJs and performers include Bonaventure, Ain Bailey, Paul Purgas, Nihal El Asar, Malik Nashad Sharpe, Dove, and Yewande 103. The copper floor transmits sound and bears a visible trace of every bare foot or hand that touches it, and is historically a material that has been embraced, in various cultures, for its healing effects.

Namy thinks of this copper dancefloor as “a super-charged platform.” In this respect, it becomes a physical foundation on which to stand, a surface that visibly reveals its history, and a shared space meant to be activated, a proposal that others can make their own.

In the intimate G30 space, director and moving image artist Akinola Davies invites friends James Massiah, Edward Wakili-Hick & Ursula Holliday, and LA CREOLE for an evening of music, spoken word, and drums in dialogue.

Down the hallway, interdisciplinary artist and performer Rosa-Johan Uddoh will be hosting a short, three-act live performance with collaborators Shola von Reinhold and Thandi Loewenson, playing upon the notion of plays with ideas of ‘ye olde’ and how the image of ‘History’ exists in the popular imagination today. Rosa-Johan Uddoh’s interdisciplinary practice uses humour, parody, and play, to work toward radical self-love, inspired by Black feminist practice. 

Alongside these acts, in the River Rooms, Somerset House Studios’ autumn exhibition from resident Sonya Dyer, Three Parent Child, will have a late opening for the evening. The installation, a two-channel moving-image work, and a large-scale sculpture weaves through the rooms, imagining the future of human space travel, influenced by Black feminist history, scientific inquiry, science-fiction, and ancient mythology. The name of the piece, comes from the recent scientific development of Mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT). This new technique incorporates DNA from three people to create a child, which mirrors Dyer’s adherence to trilogies throughout her practice.

Find tickets  here 

(Media courtesy of the artists)
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