Paul Maheke at Assembly Point

What Flows Through and Across performance (86) copy

Artist: Paul Maheke

Exhibition title: What Flows Through and Across

Venue: Assembly Point, London, UK

Date: January 18 – February 25, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Assembly Point, London

In January 2017 Assembly Point will present a solo project by French artist Paul Maheke, titled ‘What Flows Through and Across’, one of three exhibitions that form his ongoing international project: ‘Becoming a Body of Water or How to Unlearn Resistance as Opposition’.

The project will develop through three solo shows opening this winter consecutively in Berlin, London, and Paris, alongside the presentation of three related performance works at Union Pacific, The Showroom and Tate Modern.

Feeding off of one another, each iteration of ‘Becoming a Body of Water…’ will feature choreographed dance pieces alongside the presentation of film-based and sculptural works. By looking at the exhibition space as a multimodal situation to experiment with new interactions between dance and moving images, it aims to challenge presentation formats while reconsidering the role a show holds in the rendition of an artwork.

The exhibition at Assembly Point will bring together elements of film, music, performance, sculpture and collaboration. It will feature a film installation projected onto a wall of the gallery through a number of long sheer curtains. Luminous sculptures placed throughout the gallery will interact with the architecture of the space, and engage in a dialogue with the film projection through incorporated text. Open rehearsals and choreographed performances will be staged at several points during the exhibition, occupying the central part of the gallery floor. These performances will be conceived by Maheke in collaboration with a musician/percussionist prior to, and during the exhibition.

Maheke’s ongoing project takes its roots in Hydrofeminism[1], considering water as a subjective/affective matter. Choreographing our relations to each other, the shows will explore notions such as fluidity and formlessness through the use of dance – as both a strategy of resistance and a thinking process that is in flux and allows indetermination.

Also drawing on research into the memory of water and its molecular responsiveness to emotions [2] as well as how trauma is passed on from one generation to another through DNA[3], the show speculates about embodied histories by researching physical memory through movement. It grounds itself in an artistic exploration of queer blackness within which dance and music-making have become coping mechanisms and the queer black body operates —similarly to its main constituent: water— as an archive using its fluids as pathways to knowledge and information.

Becoming a Body of Water or How to Unlearn Resistance as Opposition’ will commence in Berlin (‘In Me Everything is Already Flowingat Center, 15 Dec. 2016 – 12 Feb. 2017) before progressing to London (‘What Flows Through and Acrossat Assembly Point, 18 Jan. – 25 Feb. 2017) and Paris (‘Acqua Alta’, Sultana Gallery, April-May 2017). A series of related performance works will continue to proceed alongside the shows, staged at Union Pacific (Aug. 2016), The Showroom (Nov. 2016) and Tate Modern (Mar. 2017).

[1] See Astrida Neimanis: ‘Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water.’

[2] See Masaru Emoto and Professor Luc Montagnier- also winner of the Nobel Prize for his discovery of HIV

[3] See Dr. Rachel Yehuda: ‘How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations’

Paul Maheke is a French artist (b.1985, Brive-la-Gaillarde) who has lived in London since 2015 after completing his MA in Art Practice at l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy in 2011 and subsequently living in Montreal, Canada, for two years.

Maheke was awarded the South London Gallery Graduate Residency 2015-16 and his exhibition ‘I Lost Track of the Swarm’ was exhibited in the first floor galleries in late spring 2016. Prior to this, Maheke completed a programme of study at Open School East, London, where he pursued a period of research and a series of public conversations entitled ‘Beyond Beyoncé: Use It Like a Bumper!.

He has also participated in a number of group exhibitions and artist residencies including: ‘No Ordinary Love’, Galerie Sultana, Paris (2016); The Rebel Man Standard Festival’, Guest Projects, London (2016); I Would’ve Done Everything for You / Gimme More’, cur. Cédric Fauq, London (May 2016); Festival de l’Inattention, Paris (2016); artist-in-residence at Darling Foundry, Montreal, Canada (2015); ODRADEK, Les Instants Chavirés, cur. Mikaela Assolent + Flora Katz, Montreuil, France (2015); 59th Salon de Montrouge’, Montrouge, France (2014); artist-in-residence at CIAP – Île de Vassivière, France (2014); ‘VIVA!, at Centre CLARK, Montreal, Canada (2012); ‘«Pratiques Furtives» : fragments d’une enquête, cur. Patrice Loubier, Skol art center, Montreal, Canada (2012).


Soundtrack by Sophie Mallett

What Flows Through and Across (5) copy

Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, installation view, Assembly Point

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, installation view, Assembly Point

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, installation view, Assembly Point

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, installation view, Assembly Point

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, installation view, Assembly Point

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Paul Maheke, About The Seas that Have Gestated Us, 2017, Aluminium fish tank, water, crystal candle wax, print on paper, hair, dried plant buds, 87 × 32 cm

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Paul Maheke, About The Seas that Have Gestated Us, 2017, Aluminium fish tank, water, crystal candle wax, print on paper, hair, dried plant buds, 87 × 32 cm

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Paul Maheke, We the Marshes, 2017, Digital print on fabric, stretcher bars, steel, dried water plants, 155 × 90 cm

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Paul Maheke, We the Marshes, 2017, Digital print on fabric, stretcher bars, steel, dried water plants, 155 × 90 cm

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Paul Maheke, We the Marshes, 2017, Digital print on fabric, stretcher bars, steel, dried water plants, 155 × 90 cm

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Paul Maheke, As The Waters Recall, 2017, HD video installation, 13:56 min, net curtains, vinyl dance mat, Dimensions Variable

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, installation view, Assembly Point

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Paul Maheke, Leakage, 2017, Digital prints on fabric, glass shelves, resin drops, push lights, glass, 210 × 120 cm

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Paul Maheke, Leakage, 2017, Digital prints on fabric, glass shelves, resin drops, push lights, glass, 210 × 120 cm

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, Rehearsal View

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, Rehearsal View

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, Rehearsal View

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, Rehearsal View

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, Rehearsal View

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Paul Maheke, What Flows Through and Across, 2017, Rehearsal View

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