Alberta Whittle, Red Sky at Night, Shepherd's Delight, 2024
Alberta Whittle: Learning a new punctuation for hope in times of disaster
Mar 16 – May 18, 2024
Regen Projects
Los Angeles, USA

Regen Projects is pleased to announce representation of Glasgow-based artist Alberta Whittle. The artist debuted her first exhibition with the gallery on March 16, 2024. Alberta’s creative practice is motivated by the desire to manifest self-compassion and collective care as key methods in battling anti-Blackness. Her multi-media practice encompasses drawing, digital collage, film, sculpture, performance, and writing, through which she develops a visual, oral, and textual language that questions accepted Western constructs of history and society. Her public presentations are often choreographed as interactive installations, that speak to the site in which they are being presented and prioritize questions of self-care and compassion, while considering the historic legacies and contemporary expressions of anti-Blackness, colonialism, and migration.

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In dialogue with the writings of Christina Sharpe, especially her book In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, 2016, Alberta’s paintings recall Jean Rhys’s postcolonial novel Wide Sargasso Sea, 1966 and its haunted evocations of a Caribbean Gothic and Donald Rodney’s film Songs on Pain, Time and Light, 1995. Textiles, raffia, and other embellishments adorn the paintings, rhyming with similar organic, lacey, and inscriptive patterns internal to them. Wooden fretwork frames bounding the paintings allude to the ornamentation of many homes in Barbados.

Representing Scotland at the 2022 Venice Biennale, Alberta debuted Lagareh – The Last Born. The work foregrounds the strength of Black womxn through individual acts of resistance, all united by Alberta’s narrative vision. The film’s title translates between the West African language Mandinka and English, mirroring the translations across contexts and histories the film explores. Shot across several countries, including Scotland, England, Barbados, Sierra Leone, and Italy, the film weaves documentary alongside more lyrical, esoteric sequences, inheriting a filmic and artistic tradition that is both experimental and essayistic. Through its geographic and emotional transit, the film carries viewers on a journey between past and present, aligning disparate and distinct geographies that allude to and index the ongoing devastation and legacy of the transatlantic trade in enslaved peoples and the systemic racism that still shapes contemporary life around the world.

Taking a breath to rest, 2022, a sequence of furniture in the shape of punctuation marks (also exhibited in Venice), and a set of sculptural gates that incorporate the phrase “No Humxns Involved” frame and accompany the film. The words reference language used by the LAPD to refer to the murders of people of color in official documents, including those that surfaced to the public after the beating of Rodney King in March 1991 and subsequent acquittal of the officers involved which led to the LA uprisings of April 1992. In the face of such brutalities, Taking a breath to rest materializes Alberta’s encouragement to viewers to take care in order to heal, and respond.

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