Ghosts: Keith Piper and Roshini Kempadoo

27 November - 11 December

Ghosts: Keith Piper/Roshini Kempadoo presented two key works that explored the relationship between technology and subjectivity through the lens of contemporary art practice. 

Robot Bodies, by Keith Piper was first developed as a gallery-based interactive exhibition and CD-Rom in 2003. It acts as a way of exploring themes around the use of racial metaphor within science fiction. Focusing on the figures of the Robot, the Android and the Cyborg as depicted in a range of science fiction films and texts, this installation transforms these figures into embodying themes that reveal societal anxieties around race and difference. This project is part of a wider body of research by the artist, expanding the scrutiny of popular science fiction into the fields of post-colonial studies, ‘Afro-futurism’ and ‘CyberEbonics’.

Roshini Kempadoo’s About Face (2015) is a new body of work being presented for the first time at the Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins.  The work is part of a new screen based series or idents being developed by the artist that speak of the small stories, ‘selfies’ and urban tales of ‘getting by’ in London town. Phones, tablets and other mobile/screen-based gizmos have radically affected how we make sense of who we are; our subjectivity. About Face explores how multicultural Londoners make use of mobile technologies in their everyday lives as they navigate the city. In this work such stories take the form of popular screen animation sequences (text, images, sound) mimicking the screen hoardings and billboards displayed throughout Londoners’ journeying across the city.

Lunchtime Talks
As part of the exhibition two lunchtime talks were held by the artists in the Lethaby Gallery. 

Keith Piper is a British-based artist and academic. His creative practice responds to specific social and political issues, historical relationships and geographical sites. Adopting a research-driven approach, and using a variety of media, his work over the past 30 years has ranged from painting, through photography and installation to a use of digital media, video and computer-based interactivity. He is Associate Professor in Fine Art and Digital Media at Middlesex University.

Roshini Kempadoo is a photographer, media artist and lecturer. Her research, multimedia and photographic projects combine factual and fictional re-imaginings of contemporary experiences with history and memory. Having worked as a social documentary photographer for the Format Women’s Picture Agency, Dr Kempadoo’s recent work as a digital image artist includes photographs and screen-based interactive art installations that fictionalise Caribbean archive material, objects, and spaces. They combine sound, animations and interactive use of objects, to introduce characters that once may have existed, evoking hidden and untold narratives. She is represented by Autograph ABP, London.

This exhibition was curated by Paul Goodwin, UAL Chair of Black Art & Design, Professor of Transnational Curating and Director of the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) at UAL.