For his first exhibition in New York, London-based artist Samson Kambalu has devised a meditative and spirited installation of nine films concerned with traditional artistic drawing. Their form and imagery are haunted by social taboos that have persisted through history and have gathered to take shape again today. These new films in his oeuvre of Nyau Cinema prompt hand-made responses to the current obsession with expressions of “fast talking” through digital means. Visitors to the gallery are welcomed with bright colored chalk to express on the walls questions on their mind and responses to the films.
Kambalu has created Nyau Cinema as a dialogue between Nyau masking practice in his home country of Malawi and early film practices. The format and presentation of Nyau Cinema adheres to specific rules inflected by an unlikely range of influences from Situationism, Nyau masking, and early and silent film. For example the artist’s performance in the film should be spontaneous and site-specific to found architecture, landscape, or objects, and must be subtle and otherworldly, transgressive, and playful. Also the films must encourage active participation from audience.
The exhibition is on view from December 5, 2017 to January 13, 2018. (The gallery will be closed December 23, 2017 through January 1, 2018.)
For more information, see https://www.centerforthehumanities.org/james-gallery/exhibitions/graphomania