Artworks

Royal Institute of British Architects film commissions 2021

Royal Institute of British Architects film commissions 2021

Link to film on RIBA channel

 

How do we remember as a society: whispered memory.

How do we remember as a society: pieces of me (in you) 

How do we remember as a society: catching a memory  (published by RIBA on Instagram only)

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has commissioned the artist, scholar and choreographer Adesola Akinleye to create a series of new video artworks inspired by the work of Sir David Adjaye OBE as part of the 2021 Royal Gold Medal celebrations. The videos are now available to watch on the RIBA Youtube channel.

Akinleye’s pieces respond to a prevalent theme throughout Adjaye’s practice, that of memory, through videos that convey how memories of specific places keep us connected to the sites that we have been physically separated from during the pandemic. The videos invite viewers to be fully present in a cathartic experience that will temporarily take you outside of yourself to share in Akinleye’s multilayered assemblage of memories.

Akinleye recollects a number of sites that remain important to her and therefore form part of her identity despite their distance from the location of her home. She remembers the presence of her body in different places and conveys this through a layering of imagery, movement and sound that playfully celebrates the glitch in the Zoom background algorithm. Shot entirely at home, Akinleye reflects on the past year of isolation within the confines of our domestic interiors, and suggests recognising shared experiences of specific buildings can form a collective memory that holds us together as a society.

About the Royal Gold Medal
The Royal Gold Medal has been awarded annually since 1848 and is recognized as the UK’s highest honour for architecture. The award is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture.” The 2021 recipient of the award is Sir David Adjaye OBE.

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The Future is a Common History, talk hosted by Central Saint Martins

The Future is a Common History, talk hosted by Central Saint Martins

The Future is a Common History Film and talk (Dec 10th 2020). Film by Jayden Ali with talk about the work in collaboration with Royal Academy of the Arts and hosted by Central Saint Martins.

JA Projects in collaboration with Black Females in Architecture and Dr Adesola Akinleye, perform an alternative history that champions the making of a diverse public realm via an investigation of the Royal Academy of Arts and its setting. Join Jayden Ali and Dr Adesola Akinleye in conversation with Kate Goodwin (RA Head of Architecture and Drue Heinz Curator) to explore the history and context of these conversations.

A portrayal of a changing city through an exploration the Royal Academy of Arts and wider Mayfair.

CREDITS: Direction/Production: Jayden Ali, Cinematography: Jermaine Edwards, Movement: Adesola Akinleye, Sound: Jay Weathers, Casting: Neba Sere, Editing: Ricky Rose, Assistance: Rebecca Faulkner, Focus: Tim Potter, Performers: Nasra Abdullahi, Seyi Adelekun, Adesola Akinleye, Corrinne Aubee, Remi Connolly-Taylor, Sahar Ibrahim, Lois Innes, Joy Mulandi, Shamiso Oneka, Sedayah Simpson

Produced in Collaboration with: JA Projects Black Females In Architecture Royal Academy of Arts University of the Arts London ©JA Projects, 2021

Related events:

 

The Youtopia Series – Futurescapes with Neba Sere 

Youtopia series by Lauren-Lois

A mini-series exploring architecture at points of social change with a focus on the events of 2020 and how they provide scope for designing socially conscious architecture in the future.

Barbican Exhibit, London:  May 17th – Dec 23rd 2021 

How We Live Now: Reimagining Spaces with Matrix Feminist Design Co-operative: A multi-layered project comprising an installation, publication and events programme exploring a series of important questions about our public spaces and designed environments.

photo of Piccadilly circus with pen marks indicating places to stand
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ILA project: the making of ‘Found’

ILA project: the making of ‘Found’

Link to archive 

Found is an engaging and lively 40-minute music & dance performance aimed at children aged 4-7 years and their families in theatre and educational settings.  With live music and an invitation to audiences to play and participate, Found looks at what connects us to each other and our surroundings drawing on stories of discovery, exploration and travel.  A drift on their own islands the performers bring audiences into a magical world where connections become visible as soundwaves ripple through bodies and lines and angles converge in new journeys and forms.

Inspired by objects selected from local museums, Found was created through the ILA project that asked How young people from immigrant families reclaim the museum, and their own cultural landscapes?

ILA project making Found to place in residencies with three Primary schools.  The show provides an adventure in colour, line, music and dance which children can enjoy and participate in, and feel free to be themselves.

Found was created out of the ILA project. This was a project bring schools together their local museum or gallery In London UK, Bristol UK and Flint USA.

The article ‘…wind in my hair I feel a part of everywhere…’:creating dance for young audiences narrates emplacement published in Journal of Dance and Somatic Studies 2019, was written as reflection about performing the work. 

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Desire Lines (Choreographing the City)

Desire Lines (Choreographing the City)

Installation performance-paper at The Lowery, Salford (Re:generations Conference) – November 2019 

Desire Lines is an on-going live work. Research and develop of Desire Lines is discussed in my monograph Dance, Architecture and Engineering 

A Dance to be made: Desire Lines

My reflections on Lingering in Dwelling/Residing in Wandering form as choreography. My choreographic notes for making a piece call Desire lines, about Lingering in Dwelling Residing in Wandering are two poems and a technical performance structure. Choreographically, I think about the aim to create moments where the dancers and audience can wander new perspectives: join the current of one rhythm, then slip into another, experience simultaneous layers that complete each other through their incompleteness.

The technical structure for performance: This creates a performance space that reaches beyond itself to the audience. Four lights one in each corner (two blue two orange, where they spill onto each other they also create purple). Two projectors each attached to its own Isadora programme. When you step into this space your bodily presence creates multiple relationships through shadow, captured image, projected image, physical body. The choreography plays with the layering of relationships. In the centre of the performance space are three small piles of stones.  

 

The poems for choreography development:

 

            Desire Lines 2 (poem for dance)

The way we walk through the streets leaks into the future of the cities we construct,

Foretelling the possibilities of who we can move into being. 

                                     

‘As the city limits’ the walls etch identities –  

Belonging becomes entangled with the privilege of Being.

Being becomes entangled with the privilege of Belonging 

 

The poetics of my body is a terrain of muscles, bone, sinew, resistance, and tolerance,

In community with the slices of ‘otherness’ we move through.

 

                         

 

Navigations (poem for dance)

And she would make utterances that silently shook the buildings,

changed the sky,

pulled the air into the corners of her world.

Listen, Walk, Disappear.

Magic crisscrossed patterns of diasporic, classed, unspoken vulnerability

her heart beat into histories.

The empty spaces her absents left revealed more than they concealed.

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Symposia trilogy

Symposia trilogy

Three symposiums organised and hosted by Helen Kindred and I, all three were held at Middlesex University.

Wright-ing the Somatic – August 2016

Narrating the Somatic: gathering voices, sharing practices – February 2018

Queering the Somatic: interrupting the narrative – August 2019

Helen Kindred and I guest edited an edition of the Journal for Dance and Somatic practices (Special Issue: Wright-ing the Somatic, Narrating the Bodily Vol. 11, no.1) based derived from the three Symposia

View pdf of editorial 

Wright-ing the Somatic, Middlesex University (2016)As artists, scholars, and practitioners of dance we understand that the embodied experience underpins meaning making, but how is this somatic understanding captured and shared as knowledge without disrupting its corporeal origins? Why is it important to share and communicate embodied knowing? How are choreographic processes, and other explorations in movement become methodology for understanding the lived experience? In partnership with the ISTD and One Dance UK, this symposium explored how we craft the somatic and document that inquiry from ‘in physicality’ to ‘in text’. We brought together existing published academics, visual documenters of movement – photography and film-, movers, and choreographers practicing professionally in the field. Across the two days there were panel discussions, lecture demonstrations, masterclasses, workshops, academic paper presentations, & performances. Our aim is to expand the dance dialogue across art forms and ideas making meaningful connections and making space for alternative ways of experiencing and seeing the somatic. 

Keynotes: Anita Gonzales (founding member of Urban Bush Women) and John R. Diehl (dance photographer)

Guest contributors include Funmi Adewole, Christopher Bannerman, Namron, Vida Midgelow, Helen Kindred, Adesola Akinleye, Michael Joseph, H. Patten, Sandra Golding, Maxine Brown, Nathan Geering, and Ginny Brown.

Film by Anton Califano 

Narrating the Somatic, Middlesex University (2018). As scholars-artists and practitioners of dance and somatic studies, we understand that the embodied experience underpins meaning making, but how is this bodily understanding captured, shared, and stories articulated as knowledge without disrupting its felt origins. Why is it important to share and communicate embodied knowing? How are choreographic processes and other explorations in movement a methodology for understanding our personal, historical, cultural narratives? The symposium explored how we tell the tales of our embodied experiences and share our practices…narrating the somatic. The Symposium brought together existing published academics, visual documentaries of movement (photography/film), and movers and choreographers practicing professionally in the field. Across the day there were panel discussions, lecture demonstrations, masterclasses, workshops, academic paper presentations, & performances. Our aim is to expand the dance dialogue across art forms and ideas making meaningful connections and making space for alternative ways of experiencing and seeing the somatic. We also celebrated in the book launch of Narratives in Black British Dance: embodied practices (link).

Keynotes: Richard Walsh, Rosemary Lee & Jackie Guy

Guest contributors include Chikukwango Cuxima, Nina Atkinson, Sandra Golding, Anton Califano & Adesola Akinleye, Mary Grigg (Savva), Louise Kateraga, Book launch: Ola Johanson & Jackie Guy, Akosua Boakye & dancers, Pawlet Brookes, Stephanie Scheubeck, Namron, Jacqueline McCormick, Helen Kindred, Eline Kieft, Vivian Vieira, Dominique Rivoal.

Filmed by Jaha Browne; Film edit and production by Anton Califano 

Queering the Somatic: interrupting the narrative, Middlesex University (2019). As scholars-artists and practitioners of dance and somatic studies, we understand that the embodied experience underpins meaning making, but how is this bodily understanding captured, shared, and stories articulated as knowledge without disrupting its felt origins. Dance can be seen as a critical way of being in the world. For us dance emphasises the felt over the ‘named’, dispelling binaries and challenging Western constructs of the passive body. Queer theory is a field of critical thinking emerging in the early 1990’s drawing on feminism and Queer studies to challenge social constructs and identities. Moving beyond the social constructs of the body both dance and Queer theory offer a fluidity for narrating the lived experience; narrations that interrupt dominant stories of identity and how we move through the world. Queering the somatic offers opportunities to explore, challenge and celebrate the act of dispelling binaries: mind-body, male-female, subject-object. The symposium is revelling in how we might re-imagine, re-educate, re-think, reveal and allow ‘us’ to re-create a world without the limits of binaries that reflect the somatic experience of Being in the world.  Across the two days there were panel discussions, lecture demonstrations, masterclasses, workshops, academic paper presentations, & performances. Our aim is to expand the dance dialogue across art forms and ideas making meaningful connections and making space for alternative ways of experiencing and seeing the somatic. 

Keynote: Thomas F. DeFrantz

Guest contributors: Carolina Vasilikou, Elaine Westwick, Anna Martine Whitehead, Danny Tokay Reid, Sam Causer, Stephanie Scheubeck, Jac Coxall, Helen Kindred, Nicolette Wilson-Clarke, Amber Oretege, Niurca Marquez and Cristina Fernandez-Rosa, with Queer history walk of London in the evening led by 

Film by Anton Califano 

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Light Steps

Light Steps

Link to archive web-site 

 Light Steps is a 40 to 45-minute music & dance performance aimed at children aged 2-5 years and their families in theatre and Early Years settings.  Light Steps centers on Alex, an endearing rag doll, woken by the morning light to explore a day punctuated by points of light as the sun travels across the sky. Alex’s journey is overseen by three friends (two dancers and a musician) whose movement, music and dance mirror Alex’s feelings and curiosity as they experience the journey of the sun across the sky.  Beginning with first light, the dance and music (a profoundly beautiful live soundtrack by Jake Alexander) trace the sun’s morning light, followed by something flying by in the midmorning, then a cloud over head in the mid-day sky, the light on the tide coming in in the afternoon, and finally a beautiful sunset, Alex’s day is an adventure in colour, music and dance which children can enjoy and participate in, free to be themselves.

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Untitled: women’s work

Untitled: women’s work

This work is dance-based research into the lived experiences of women living and working in the Flint area, Michigan. It is an attempt to take the body seriously when we talk about women’s work.  Untitled: women’s work is both scholarly art and artistic research using narrative inquiry, dance and film as research methodology.   In it women express what they hope for in a good job and the barriers they encounter in searching for and keeping them.  Specifically we draw out two themes in brining home the lived experience of working: rhythms and relationships and their continual establishment, disruption, negotiation and maintenance. 

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Concrete-Water-Flesh

Concrete-Water-Flesh

Link to web-site 

Concrete-Water-Flesh is a collaborative project with Helen Kindred which places bodily experiences as central to our understanding and Being-in-Place. The project combines the research interests of Adesola and Helen in the development of new physical site-specific  and web-based choreographic work. Stimulated by the Place of the city and Place of the shore.

charcoal drawing bY Andrew Hinton
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