Nocturnal Creatures: Julianknxx

Black Corporeal (Between This Air)

  • Black Corporeal (Between this Air) Untitled 3 Courtesy of the artist ©Studioknxx (1)

    JulianknxxBlack Corporeal (Between this Air), 2021, Untitled 3. Courtesy of the artist ©StudioknxxCommissioned by WePresent, the digital arts platform of WeTransfer. 

Past Event


This event was on Sat 17 Jul 2021, 6pm–11pm

Access Information

Film and performance

Film: 6-9pm, 10.30-11.00pm book Main Gallery
Performance: 9pm, 9.30pm, 10pm, book tickets here

Whitechapel Gallery
Gallery 2 

The act of breathing is politically and socially charged in 2021, for Julianknxx, “The air is different now, we need to think about how we breathe.” Alternating video, spoken word and live music, Black Corporeal (Between This Air) examines the physical and metaphysical aspects of breathing, and calls to deconstruct dominant perspectives on African art, history and culture, in order to allow new black structures and realities to breathe, freely.

With his criticalengagement with art history and philosophy,Julianknxxuses his personal history as a prism through which todeconstruct the relationship between materiality, and the black psyche. Exploring the idea that our ability to breathe – an act that is continuously challenged by everything, from air pollution, stress and anxiety, to societal prejudice – is more than ourlungsability to take in air, but a reflection of the way we live individually and together. Black Corporeal (Between This Air) engages with both the physical and metaphysical aspects of breathing and explores how we can experience the fullness of our lives through our bodies. 

Work information

Julianknxx
Black Corporeal (Between This Air) (2021)  
HD video, 13:06 mins, continuous 
Commissioned by WePresent, the digital arts platform of WeTransfer.
Performers: Sheila Maurice-Grey, Thabo Mkwananzi, JP Thwaites

About Julianknxx 

Julianknxx (b. 1987 Freetown, Sierra Leone) graduated in 2012 from Coventry University. He is an interdisciplinarypoet, visual artist, and filmmaker whose practicecrosses the boundaries of written word, music, visualart, and installation.  He often works with a range of collaborators. Through his practice, Julianknxx explores themes ofinheritance, loss, and belonging, and their effects onpersonal and interpersonal narratives.

Selected exhibitions include: 108 The Strand (2021), The View from There, Sadie Coles HQ (2021), Lux London (2021), Contra La Raza [Against Race]Matadero, Madrid (2021), Roots & RoadsFranklin Street Works,
Stamford CT, USA (2020), Now Gallery, London (2019). Performances include: Fact Magazine (Online Residency) (2021), OT301 Amsterdam
(2020), ICA London, Southbank Centre (2019), Jazz Cafe, BBC Radio 5, London Literature Festival at Southbank Centre (2018). 



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