CIRCA PRESENTS NIKITA GALE
Los Angeles-based artist Nikita Gale summons a storm of colour and light to London, Seoul and Tokyo, shifting the urban climates in a new commission.
Curated this month in collaboration with Chisenhale Gallery, directed by Zoé Whitley, experience Gale’s new series of four films titled ‘SOME WEATHER’ which spotlights the creative work of Black women whose voices feature in some of rock music’s most acclaimed recordings.
Four films -- ‘Heat’, ‘Fog’, ‘Blizzard’, and ‘Rain’ -- will feature on the Piccadilly Lights throughout June, appearing daily with the unpredictability of weather patterns; each taking on a different radiant hue.
Adopting writer Toni Morrison’s use of the term ‘weather’ in Beloved, Gale describes ‘weather’ as “the slippery space between bodies and atmosphere where breath joins the wind and sweat joins the ocean. The image of these performing figures is obscured and transformed in such a way that they become visual representations of some types of weather: heat, fog, rain, and snow.”
Gale, an artist who works using sound, technology and sculptural installation explains: “Some of the most definitive recordings in the genre of rock and roll have used the voices of Black women as background singers. This creative labour has been used to foreground the performances of some of the most iconic rock performers of all time, mostly men, many of them British: The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Phil Collins, to name a few. In the ecology of both the stage and the recording, all of these elements that are not the band or the lead singer become a kind of sonic and cultural ‘weather.”
In SOME WEATHER, the singers’ voices, their physical presence, and the context of their original performances blur. Each film features archival footage of background singers rendered unrecognisable, manipulated to such a degree that their images exceed the scale of easy consumption. Obscured, they commune with weather patterns that beam out across London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights at 20:21 BST.
Gale’s work straddles image and text, memory and identity. Through explorations of human beings and their invisible yet indispensable labour, the artist reveals the inner-workings of creative production and processes of achieving innovation.