April 7, 2021 - Gasworks - Spring/summer programme
April 7, 2021


[1] Mercedes Azpilicueta, The Lieutenant-Nun is Passing: An Autobiography of Katalina, Antonio, Alonso and More, 2021. Detail of Jacquard tapestry. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Joel Furness. [2] Bassam Al-Sabah, Wandering, Wandering With a Sun on My Back (still), 2018. HD video. Courtesy of the artist.

Spring/summer programme
Exhibitions and residencies
May 19–September 19, 2021

155 Vauxhall Street
London SE11 5RH
United Kingdom

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Mercedes Azpilicueta: Bondage of Passions
May 19–July 4, 2021
Gasworks presents the first UK solo exhibition by Amsterdam-based artist Mercedes Azpilicueta. Her work brings together marginal historical figures, fictional characters and gendered mythologies from South America’s colonial past.

Fuelled by collaboration with dancers, writers, researchers and craftspeople, her installations often take the form of intricate set designs, theatrical props, soundtracks and scores for a live performance that doesn’t yet exist, and where the viewer is invited to take centre stage.

Calling herself a "dishonest researcher," Azpilicueta navigates across multiple geographies, chronologies and fields of knowledge, ranging from literature and art history to popular music and street culture, in a loving pursuit of subversive and contested historical figures—queer, feminist, exiled and unheard voices from the past—who haunt her videos, sculptures and textiles. 

The exhibition at Gasworks offers a speculative vision of Catalina de Erauso, a 17th-century nun from the Basque Country who travelled to the New World, where s/he lived under male identities and became a ruthless lieutenant in the Spanish colonial army. Azpilicueta’s show presents newly-commissioned Jacquard tapestries alongside a new body of sculptures, costumes and props. 

Mercedes Azpilicueta is an artist born in La Plata, Argentina. She was an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam in 2015–16, and received the Pernod Ricard Fellowship in 2017. Recent solo exhibitions include CAC Brétigny, Brétigny-sur-Orge (2021); Museion, Bozen (2020); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2019); CentroCentro, Madrid (2019); and MAMBA, Buenos Aires (2018).

Azpilicueta’s exhibition is commissioned and produced by Gasworks. A public programme including panel discussions and newly-commissioned online works by artists and writers will accompany the exhibition—join our mailing list to receive updates on this programme. 

Bassam Al-Sabah
July 21–September 19, 2021
Gasworks presents the first London solo exhibition by Belfast-based artist Bassam Al-Sabah. Working across digital animation, sculpture and textiles, Al-Sabah’s work conveys intricate visions of war, resistance and perseverance.

In his work, displacement and personal mythology are explored through reference to video game culture and Japanese anime cartoons, dubbed into Arabic and broadcast throughout the Middle East since the 1980s. Featuring imagery of revolution and warfare, these programmes take on a heightened political meaning within Al-Sabah’s practice, whose family exiled from Baghdad after the Iraq War. 

As a part of the generation of Arabs growing up watching anime series, Al-Sabah’s work deals with an uneasy sense of collective nostalgia, resulting in an amalgamation of narratives in which fact and fiction, historical trauma and queer possibility intersect.

Bassam Al-Sabah lives and works in Belfast and Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (2019); The LAB, Dublin (2018); and Eight Gallery, Dublin (2017). Al-Sabah is the fifth artist to take part in the Freelands Gasworks Partnership, a programme for emerging UK artists based outside of London.

Made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Freelands Foundation, the programme combines a three-month residency with a solo exhibition, commissioned by Gasworks in partnership with De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, where a second instalment of the show will be presented later in 2021. The previous participants were Jamie CreweRachal BradleyLibita Sibungu and Lauren Gault.

Gasworks commissions are supported by Catherine Petitgas and Gasworks Exhibitions Supporters. 

Residencies programme
Gasworks’ residencies programme offers studios to international artists for a fully-funded three-month residency to develop new work and research on site. Upcoming residents from April 12 to June 28, 2021: Bassam Al-Sabah (UK), Mikel Escobales Castro (Spain), Gal Leshem (UK), and Moad Musbahi (UK). 

International residents from July 5 to September 20, 2021: Bronwyn Katz (South Africa), Sandip Kuriakose (India), Lou Lou Sainsbury (UK), and Etinosa Yvonne (Nigeria).

Participation artists in residence
Laima Leyton and Lexy Morvaridi: InnerSwell
April 1–October 30, 2021
InnerSwell is a project by artists Laima Layton and Lexy Morvaridi, developed as a series of collaborations with people living in the vicinity of Gasworks. The project explores memory and sound and is inspired by deep listening, a process of "listening to learn."

Through the creation of an environment where ideas and stories can be formed and shared through discussion, crafting, collecting and generating sound; InnerSwell develops the conditions where judgement is temporarily suspended, making room for a greater willingness to receive new information.

In doing so, InnerSwell offers a therapeutic and accessible experience of the creative process, allowing participants to develop their own practice and build personal narratives through the medium of sound.

Supported by the City Bridge Trust.

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