No archive arises out of thin air. Each archive has a 'pre-history', in the sense of prior conditions of existence. We need to pay particular tribute to all those who have been involved over the years, often in very informal, personally taxing and under-funded ways, to secure in one place slides of the works, catalogues, exhibition notices, reviews and other texts relating to the artistic production of the black and Asian Diaspora, without whom this moment of archival retrieval would not exist.
-- Constituting Archive, Stuart Hall Third Text, Spring 2001
198% disordered and reconsidered, curated by agency for agency, is the first public exhibition of the year long project Possible Futures at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning. After 28 years of renting, 198 recently established themselves as the new owners of their building.
To mark this significant moment, Possible Futures will reflect on ideas of artistic communities and practices to investigate 198's history as a community resource and a space for supporting and developing artists, with a focus on diversity, inclusion and challenging the mainstream. It will consider the work of the gallery, including it’s artistic programme, delivery of services in youth work, social care and education, that is forever evolving in response to the needs of our local community, and the cultural and social politics of the time.
Located on a street associated with the 1981 & 85 urban uprisings, figures such as CLR James and Olive Morris as well as anarchists, squatters and more, 198 was originally called Roots Community. Founded by locals Noel Morgan and Zoe Linsley-Thomas, it was a West Indian social club where dominos were played, jazz filled the air, meals were shared and people came together for good times.
In 1988 the gallery was created to exhibit artworks by black (Black, Asian and other Ethnic Minority) artists and to engage young people through art education. Artists such as Fowokan George Kelly, Jaimini Patel, Faisal Abdu’ Allah, Sonia Boyce, Aya Haidar, Aubrey Williams, Delaine Le Bas, Susan Stockwell, Larry Achiampong and Barbara Walker have all exhibited in the gallery.
Disordered and Reconsidered, is an active archival display that delves into the boxes, opens the press books,browses project documentation, recalls histories, and names those who have worked with 198. There is an invitation for visitors to join us in the exploration of the archive, to add to the list of artists and to offer their contributions, stories, and thoughts about the work of the gallery. 198 % disordered and reconsidered also includes a series of events and artists commissions inviting artists, archivists, curators and others, to collectively work through the archive in order to think about what 198 can become and where it can go.
Contributors to 198% disordered and reconsidered include David A Bailey, Larry Achiampong, Amal Alhaag, Junior Boakye- Yiadom, Ben Cranfield, Kelly Foster, Chandra Frank, June Givanni, Rita Keegan, Delaine Le Bas, Raju Rage, Ash Sharma, and Gilane Tawardos, The Herne Hill Forum, Hurst Street Residents and St Judes Primary School.
Please check the 198 website for more details of events and public programmes. 198% disordered and reconsidered continues until the 30th July.
agency for agency are a new collaborative project with artist Barby Asante, curator Teresa Cisneros and producer Jessica Harrington. All three practitioners have worked on a number of personal and collaborative projects with artists working in visual art, social practice, live art and performance. agency for agency work is about practice in relation to place, identity and notions of culture.
Special thanks to our exhibition team made up of 198 staff, young people and local community including Ajamu, Buki Bayode, Brockwell Art Services, Perry Brown. Tieona Daniel-Gordon, Ewuraba- Hama Lansiquot, Daniel Icha Muhammad, Sireita Mullings, Shirley Thompson, Jane Standing, Gary Stewart, Alysssa Weise, Kareen Williams. We also want to thank, the management board at 198 and all the artists, curators, young people, community groups and visitors.