Evan Ifekoya
Contoured Thoughts
17 Aug — 6 Sep 2020
17 Aug — 6 Sep 2020
Evan Ifekoya, Contoured ThoughtsEvan Ifekoya, Contoured Thoughts, 2019, 4:41 minutes
Evan Ifekoya, Contoured Thoughts, 2019, 4:41 minutes
When did you last rest? When did you float weightlessly, your aching muscles soothed by lapping water?

Softening with every breath knots made hard by exhaustion. This is rest, this is your space to breathe, exist and wander.

When did this moment cease to be yours? Your body occupied, its flesh and bones yet another a stranger, another shape unknown.

Time is set to break us, its unrelenting rhythm dragging forward our heaviness. No sight of the pause, solace, stillness we were promised - owed through our burden of remaining othered.

Heartbeat turned to drums; we are being rallied, we are being kept from ourselves, our agency, our power to be still and connect.

What does our rest become, what does it mean, who does it belong to?

When behind closed lids, honest reflections and candle lit darkness the target still seeks us out, finds us at our most vulnerable, where are we truly safe?

Our rest is not a gesture, a pebble to be skipped across water only to sink soullessly into cool and hostile depths. It is a body of thought, buoyant and unapologetic.

Rushing water fuels our urgency, the fierce desire to escape, to run away down boulders, to be swept up by rapid torrents, to find shelter in a moment faraway.

Our rest must not be policed; our rest is a part of us not to be taken or shared. It is the ripples in the water, the rise and fall of our chest. Our rest belongs to us.

— Evan Ifekoya, 2020  
Evan Ifekoya is an artist and energy worker who through sound, text, video and performance places demands on existing systems and institutions of power, to recentre and prioritise the experience and voice of those previously marginalised. The practice considers art as a site where resources can be both redistributed and renegotiated, whilst challenging the implicit rules and hierarchies of public and social space. Through archival and sonic investigations, they speculate on blackness in abundance; the body of the ocean a watery embodied presence in the work.

They established the collectively run and QTIBPOC (queer, trans*, intersex, black and people of colour) led Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.) in 2018. In 2019, they won the Kleinwort Hambros Emerging Artists Prize and in 2017 the Arts Foundation award for Live Art sponsored by Yoma Sasberg Estate. They have presented exhibitions and performances across Europe and Internationally including: Liverpool Biennial (2020); De Appel Netherlands (2019); Gasworks London (2018) Contemporary Arts Centre New Orleans as part of Prospect 4 (2017); Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town (2016); Studio Voltaire London (2015) and Castlefield Gallery Manchester (2014).

Art direction: Andie Macario
Camera: Katarzyna Perlak
Colour: Anthony Redman-Thomas
Music: Evan Ifekoya
Producer: Taylor Le Melle

Commissioned by Tyneside Cinema as part of the artists’ programme Projections, using public funding from Arts Council England.
(Extra)Terrestrial Currents is an online programme of artist moving image, sound and text, presenting a screening programme with artists Thirza Cuthand, Ayesha Hameed, Evan Ifekoya and Himali Singh Soin, a commission by artist and composer Hannah Catherine Jones and a reading list by scholar Kathryn Yusoff.