New Highgate exhibition examines the vestiges of empire

A still from a film titled "a so-called archive" by Onyeka Igwe

A still from a film titled "a so-called archive" by Onyeka Igwe - Credit: Onyeka Igwe

A new exhibition in Highgate "interrogates the decomposing repositories of empire".

Titled "a so-called archive" by artist Onyeka Igwe, the exhibition is at Lux, in Waterlow Park, from September 8 to October 17.

Igwe’s first solo exhibition at the gallery includes a film with the same title, as well as an outdoor audio piece and an ephemeral display in the library, expanding on its themes.

Mason Leaver-Yap, who works with artists, said of the exhibition: "With a forensic lens, Onyeka Igwe’s 'a so-called archive' interrogates the decomposing repositories of empire.

"Blending footage shot over 2020 in two separate colonial archive buildings – one in Lagos, Nigeria, and the other in Bristol, United Kingdom – this double portrait considers the ‘sonic shadows’ that colonial images continue to generate, despite the disintegration of their memory and their materials.


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"Igwe’s film imagines what might have been ‘lost’ from these archives. It mixes the genres of the radio play, the corporate video tour, and detective noir, with a haunting and critical approach to the horror of discovery."

A collective reading event will take place on October 16, with details to be announced.

Booking is required for the exhibition via https://lux.org.uk/. Audio described and captioned screenings will take place daily.

A still from a film titled "a so-called archive" by Onyeka Igwe

A still from a film titled "a so-called archive" by Onyeka Igwe - Credit: Onyeka Igwe

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