Pace Gallery presents a multi-media installation by Torkwase Dyson

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Pace Gallery presents a multi-media installation by Torkwase Dyson
‘Torkwase Dyson: Liquid a Place’, installed at Pace Gallery, 5 Hanover Square, London, October 8 – November 6, 2021. © Torkwase Dyson, courtesy Pace Gallery. Photo: Damian Griffiths, courtesy Pace Gallery.

LONDON.- Pace Gallery inaugurates its new gallery at 5 Hanover Square with Liquid a Place, a collaborative performance and multi-media installation by Torkwase Dyson commissioned and presented by Pace Live. On view October 8 – November 6, Dyson transforms one of the new gallery spaces with a series of sculptures, activated by a site-specific sound piece.

Dyson describes her practice through the lens of painting while working across a breadth of mediums, including performance, sculpture, film, and drawing among others. Dyson’s work facilitates conversations around the relationship between Black and Brown bodies and the surrounding environment. Using her incisive and original vision, she explores the continuity between ecology, infrastructure, and architecture across time and space. Black Compositional Thought—a working philosophy Dyson uses to consider how bodies of water, geographies and other physical and non-physical spaces are composed and inhabited by Black and Brown bodies throughout history—is at the core of her exploratory practice. For Dyson black spatial liberation strategies are critical in the creation of more liveable futures.

Liquid a Place uses water to explore ideas of ontology, perception, liberation and memory. Dyson’s work considers the body as an infrastructure for water, inviting viewers to consider their interconnection with the rivers, meadows and oceans that surround us. In June 2021, as part of the Pace Live commission, Dyson spent a month undergoing rigorous research in London in anticipation of this experimental and visionary project. Following the River Thames and recalling the people and objects it has transported, Dyson’s research looks at the ways in which water shapes our cities and societies, both as a geographic dividing line and a site for the enslavement and trafficking of Black and Brown peoples. In this way, Dyson marries thinking around the history of colonisation, empire and the triangle trade with questions of contemporary life, in particular the ongoing climate crisis. In Dyson’s words, ‘This project acknowledges that we are always the water in the room.’

Liquid a Place is accompanied by the release of a limited-edition double A-Side Dubplate by Pace Publishing, featuring Dyson’s sound piece remixed by pioneering Chicago-based DJ and producer Ron Trent, as well as music by London based artist GAIKA. Dubplates—a master record from which vinyl is pressed—have been instrumental in disseminating reggae, jungle, garage and grime across African and Caribbean diasporas in the UK. As such, within Dyson’s practice a dubplate functions as a vessel for Black Compositional Thought.

Torkwase Dyson (b. 1973, Chicago, Illinois) describes herself as a painter working across multiple mediums to explore the continuity between ecology, infrastructure, and architecture. Examining ideas of distance and scale as well as the history and future of black spatial liberation strategies, Dyson’s abstract works grapple with the ways in which space is perceived and negotiated, particularly by Black and Brown bodies. In 2019, Dyson’s solo exhibition I Can Drink the Distance was on view at The Cooper Union, New York, and her work was also presented at the Sharjah Biennial.

Dyson has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and installations at institutions, including Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago; Bennington College VAPA Usdan Gallery, Vermont; Colby College Museum of Art, Franconia Sculpture Park, Maine; Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, and Davidson Contemporary, New York. Her work has been exhibited in group shows internationally, including Between the Waters at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018) and Plumb Line: Charles White and the Contemporary at California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2019). Her work was also included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial. In addition to many fellowships and residencies, she has been the recipient of a The Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant, Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Artists, and a Brooklyn Arts Council grant.

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