1:54 London 2017

Circle Art Gallery, 30 January – 16 February 2019

Alex Mawimbi (formerly Ato Malinda), born 1981, Kenya, lives and works in Rotterdam. She has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Transart Institute, New York. Her works consist of performance, drawing, painting, installation, and video. Through her diverse practice, Mawimbi investigates the hybrid nature of African identity, contesting notions of authenticity. She has worked with western museums to dispel notions of a Unitarian Africa, so often seen in ethnographic exhibitions. In addition to this she also focuses on gender and female sexuality. She is inspired by LGBTQ communities whose stories are rarely told.

Mawimbi was one of the honourees of the inaugural African art awards given out by the Smithsonian Institution (2016). She was also one of the awardees of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2015) and won the One Minutes Award (2012) for moving photography. Her solo shows include “Games” (2013) at Savvy Contemporary which centred round sexual abuse, and “Incommensurable Identities” (2011) at Aarhus Art Building which examined tenuous relations between Europe and Africa. She has exhibited in group exhibitions at Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2014), the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (2015), Salon Urbain de Douala in Cameroon (2010), Brooklyn Museum (2016) and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen (2015), among others.

Jackie Karuti (b.1987) is based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is known for her experimental & conceptual work using new media where she explores themes of alternate worlds, access to knowledge, space, death and sexuality through drawings, installations, video and performance art. Karuti is the 2017 recipient of the Young Artist Award at the Cape Town Art Fair, an alumna of the Gasworks residency program in London as well as Asiko, which operates as an alternative art school hosted in different African cities. She has participated in several exhibitions & residencies, both locally & abroad, which has seen her collaborate with other artists & institutions in a selection of various multidisciplinary projects.

Tahir Karmali (1987) received his Masters of Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York. He began as an ink painter and picked up the camera as a creative outlet while he traveled and worked in Asia and Europe.

His work explores themes around socioeconomics, migration, colonialism, and identity – his practice combines photography with paper making and craft. Karmali’s work is narrative driven and unfolds during the process – often finding and recreating fine art materials out of politically charged objects. In 2016 he completed the Visual Artist Residency at BRIC in Brooklyn and MacDowell, where he explores identity through pre and post-independence national identification documents.

His work has been shown at Brassage Photographique, Villers-la-Ville, Belgium; Biennial Fotografica Bogota 2017, Bogota, Colombia; Art Africa Fair, Cape Town, South Africa; Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands; Vitra Design Museum, Weil Am Rhein, Germany; and the Guggenheim, Bilbao, among other venues. Residencies include MacDowell Visual Artist Residency, BRIC, and Pioneer Works, where he will be a resident in Fall 2017. Born and raised in Kenya, Karmali currently lives and works in Brooklyn.