Hiding in Plain Sight: R.I.P. Germain
Friday, 17 November 2023, 17:00–19:00 GMT
LVMH E002, Central Saint Martins, London
The talk is open to both University of the Arts students and the wider public. The event is free, but registration is essential. Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hiding-in-plain-sight-rip-germain-tickets-749223717307
In this artist talk, London-based artist R.I.P. Germain responds to the theme of Afterall ArtSchool’s Hiding in Plain Sight programme. The talk will elaborate on the concept of the shadow and its many tangents in R.I.P.’s Germain’s artistic practice – through subterranean networks, markets and financial systems; obstructions (or facilitators?) to growth; storytelling; phantoms; and mimicry, among others.
Afterall ArtSchool’s programme Hiding in Plain Sight explores alternative approaches to study conceived in the shadows. Drawing from Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s conceptualisation of the ‘undercommons’, this programme invites arts practitioners, theorists, and students to orient their practice outside the mould of institutional apparatuses. In the opaque shadow of surveillance systems, screened surfaces, and networked cables that increasingly mediate communication channels and educational spaces broadly defined, we posit darkness as an opening for new modalities of thought and creation. Attentive to the theoretical parallels between the ontological condition of Blackness and planetary dark matter as ‘invisible and unknowable, yet somehow still there’ invoked by Black studies and surveillance studies scholar Simone Browne, this project emphasises darkness and shadows as grounds for speculation, contestation, and possibility.
R.I.P. Germain’s practice traffics in double meanings, deep resonances and a tension between accessibility and occlusion. Trickster and guide, he tries to dance a fine line: making work that speaks to deep truths without cheapening them with explanations or flattening them out for easy consumption. Sedimented with layers dense with cultural meaning and reference, the extensive research undergirding R.I.P. Germain’s work draws from multiple genres of Black experience, history and culture – personal and collective, seeking to make art that is rigorous about his commitments and possibilities as a Black artist.
R.I.P. Germain has exhibited internationally and recent exhibitions include; FUBU A/W 23, a solo show at Goswell Road, Paris; Artists’ Film International 2023, a group show at Whitechapel Gallery, London, and 18 other partner organisations around the globe; “Jesus Died For Us, We Will Die For Dudus!”, a solo show at ICA, London; ‘Cubitt 30’, a group show presented by Cubitt at Victoria Miro in London, UK; ‘The Exhibition Formerly Known As “Trace Image”’ at Deborah Schamoni, Munich, Germany; ‘Shimmer’, a solo show at Two Queens in Leicester, UK; ‘Four Bedrooms With An En Suite, A Garage & Garden In A Nice Neighbourhood’, a solo show at V.O Curations in London, UK; ‘Supastore Southside, Slingbacks & Sunshine’, a group show hosted by Sarah Staton at South London Gallery; ‘Ways of Living #2’, a group show presented by Arcadia Missa at NICO in Bari, Italy; ‘Dead Yard’, a solo show at Cubitt in London, UK; ‘Double 6’ with Ashley Holmes in the former courtroom at Leeds Town Hall in Leeds, UK; and ‘Gidi Up’, a solo show at Peak in London, UK. R.I.P. Germain was also the recipient of the ICA Image Behaviour 2021 prize, which culminated in his first short film premiering at the ICA in 2022.