How do artists situate themselves in relation to different histories, and those around them?
Accounts of artists’ works are often reduced to their biographies – a narrow field of engagement that most artists typically reject. The varied range of
James Northcote’s portrait of the young African-American Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge – the first work acquired by Manchester Art Gallery – is a point of departure for this section.
Keith Piper, Gilbert & George and Hetain Patel present complex stories of the self in fragments. Viewers are invited to engage with the stories, encounters
Viewers are challenged by the work of Li Yuan-chia, Conroy/Sanderson and Said Adrus. The works refuse to rest as spectacle, evoking instead a discordant range of emotions – anger, resignation, resilience
Lubaina Himid, Pushpamala N. and Yara El-Sherbini work with typologies,
Sutapa Biswas, David Hockney
Rasheed Araeen photographs his lonely reflection in the windows of an empty Circle Line train on a Christmas day in London. His blurred efforts are thwarted by the variable lighting of a moving
What reflections of ourselves do we see in these artists’ self-portraits?
Hammad Nasar, exhibition curator
The free exhibition 'Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition' was on at Manchester Art Gallery from 25th May 2018 to 22nd April 2019.
The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Black Artists & Modernism (BAM) project. BAM was a three-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council lead by UAL in collaboration with Middlesex University.
This text has been reproduced with permission from the publication produced by UAL with Manchester Art Gallery to accompany the exhibition, curated by Hammad Nasar with Kate Jesson.