This autumn Tate Britain
presents a new installation by SERAFINE1369, the London-based artist and dancer Jamila Johnson-Small (previously known as Last Yearz Interesting Negro 2015-2020). Titled from darkness into darkness, the multi-media installation is the artists first work for the gallery setting that is not dependent on the live presence of the artist. SERAFINE1369s work considers dance as a philosophical enquiry, tool for divination and psycho-spiritual practice. The exhibition is the latest in Tate Britains Art Now series of free exhibitions showcasing emerging talent and highlighting the latest developments in British art.
from darkness into darkness features three video works in which the artist transforms themselves into different mythological archetypes of monstrous creatures as metaphor for experiences of being, or feeling haunted and host to multiple entities. Dance here functions as a sanctuary for tuning into a body. The choreographies captured on camera work with slow, restrained movements in a continuation of SERAFINE1369s work on themes of control and abandon.
from darkness into darkness features sound from SERAFINE1369s ongoing collaborations with Josh Anio Grigg, David Panos and Shelley Parker; lighting design by Jackie Shemesh and latex artefacts by HYDRA.
Since the 1990s, Art Now has recognised talent at its outset and provided a launching platform for artists who have gone on to become established figures on the international art scene. The series has recently showcased the work of Cooking Sections, Sophia Al-Maria, France-Lise McGurn, Joanna Piotrowska, Jesse Darling, Lisa Brice and Marguerite Humeau.
Art Now: SERAFINE1369 from darkness into darkness is curated by Isabella Maidment, Curator, Contemporary British Art with thanks to Elsa Coustou, Curator and Coordinator of Public Programme, Lafayette Anticipations.
SERAFINE1369 is the artist and dancer Jamila Johnson-Small. They live and work in London. Recent presentations of SERAFINE1369s work include Montag Modus, Germany (2021); Liverpool Biennial (2021); Siobhan Davies Studio, UK (2021); MACRO, Italy (2021); CA2M, Spain (2020); My Wild Flag, MDT, Sweden (2020); Queer Performance Camp, La Chapelle, Canada (2020); Silencio, France (2019); Transmediale, Germany (2019); Palais de Tokyo, France (2018); and Institute of Contemporary Arts, UK (2018). SERAFINE1369 was the 2019/20 Torchlight Artist at Siobhan Davies Dance, UK and is the 2021/22 resident at Gropius Bau, Germany.