ALICE BLACK is pleased to announce ‘Desire & Menace': Ritual in Contemporary Performance Art, the gallery’s first Summer Art Festival which will run from 14 July – 14 August 2018 exclusively at our Soho, London space. 8 visual and performance artists who have developed a heightened sensitivity to ephemeral acts or interventions will be invited to respond to the concept of polarity and duality in human nature. The festival will open to the public with its first immersive experience from 6-9 pm on Saturday July 14, with performances taking place each Thursday thereafter; these will be accompanied by a series of related exhibitions.

‘Desire & Menace’ takes inspiration from Orson Welles statement: “Everything about me is a contradiction, and so is everything about everybody else. We are made out of oppositions; we live between two poles. There's a philistine and an aesthete in all of us, and a murderer and a saint. You don't reconcile the poles. You just recognise them.”

Under the unifying power of performance art, the festival aims to establish a dialogue over such questions as ‘is duality an innate characteristic fundamental to the human condition?

Can ambivalence be a reason for turmoil or a source of inspiration? Can the artistic practice reconcile the opposites within our selves?




Featured artists


Sol Bailey-Barker

A Bouba/Kiki Paradigm
Installation: 8-14 August | Performance: 9 August 6-9 pm

Sol Bailey-Barker’s interactive charred oak and hand beaten, stainless steel sculptures create an immersive installation and soundscape in the space it inhabits. The work combines ambient noise and sonic radiation from satellite recordings collected from outer space.
Bailey-Barker’s practice is informed by the development of technologies that for millennia were seen as shamanic for their transformative power upon the landscape and influence over life and death. Following the journey of body-hacking and augmentation from the ancient axe to contemporary prosthetics and machinery, Bailey Barker uses found objects that allow him to build immersive environments exploring the provoking symbols of agriculture and industry whilst revisiting narratives of ancient spirituality.



Merve Basirir

Pussy Protectors
Exhibition: 21-24 July | Opening event: 21 July 6-9 pm

Made from casts of the negative space between her own legs, Basarir’s ‘Pussy Protectors’ intend to bridge the distance between spectator and artwork by luring the viewer to touch their surfaces through the sensual effect of colour and form.

Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Merve Basarir trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, following a career in finance. Basarir's work focuses on cultural trauma, socially constructed roles and binary pairings. Her sculptures are made from a wide range of materials including jesmonite, silicone, and steel. Taking references from current events, they are usually installed in a theatrical setting, establishing a language to be read as both personal and universal. The sculptures carry characteristics at once playful, subversive, cunning, humorous and stupid - mirroring the human capacity.


Gianinna Delpino

The Weight of Thoughts
Performance: 28 July 10 am - 9 pm

Gianinna Delpino will invite us to participate in a transformative performance piece intended to help us understand and alleviate the weight of our thoughts. Music by violinist OLI GRANT.

Gianinna Delpino was born in Chile and originally trained as an architect. Since arriving in London in 2012, she has dedicated herself to her multi-disciplinary art practice and teaching. Far from friends and family and without knowing anyone, art helped root her in a new context and has become a vehicle to communicate a life which she describes as ‘having taken her to places never expected’. Spanning filmmaking, painting, drawing, installation and book publishing, Delpino’s art represents a form of active and participatory meditation.

Once held a brush, wet clay, spread colours over everything and never let go of that feeling. Working with the hands is powerful. – Gianinna Delpino


Evelyn Drach

The Moment is Then
Exhibition: 1 - 4 August | Performance: 2 August 12-3 am

Evelyn Drach, a storyteller said to be unstuck from time, invites the audience to step sideways and explore the depths of ancestry and collective memory via a durational late night performance. Exhibition and durational ongoing performance overnight, curated by Evelyn Drach with photographs by ANTONY CROSSFIELD and MANON OUIMET, painting by ROSE MCLAREN sculpture and sound by EVELYN DRACH.

Evelyn Drach is a musician, storyteller and performance artist whose work is a tapestry of sound, movement and words which delve into ancestral memory and the subconscious realm. From the funeral pyres of Varanasi, the deserts of the Middle East, the Amazon jungle, the to the heart of London, Drach's life has been a journey of unearthing and following narratives until the line between fiction and reality is imperceptible. Her performances occur in abandoned buildings, cabaret clubs, galleries, even subterranean bunkers. In 2018, Drach will release her debut album ‘Up With The Smoke’. 


Jack Greeley-Ward & Andrew Ford

The World Shadow
Opening Performance: 14 July 6-9 pm

Today, in an industry, light and sound often collude in such a way as to conceal and support each other; the soundtrack to a film secretly providing emotional cues to the plot; lighting and projections articulating the pulse of a musical concert. In music or cinema, conventionally one dominates whilst the other submits. Jack Greeley-Ward and Andrew Ford's work; 'The World Shadow' plays with the rules of these engagements and invites the hierarchy of dominance to become slippery.  A live improvised musical performance is immersed amongst projections of animated abstract forms. Greeley-Ward's playful and detailed approach to the moving image illuminates the space; bold brush strokes, fast paced frames and exuberant collaged imagery flicker across the gallery walls. The performers, guided by Ford's conceptual framework, start out using the shapes and forms of the animation to inform their performance. As the performance develops the music takes on a life of it’s own and it becomes unclear whether the music is supporting the film or vice versa.

Greeley-Ward and Ford graduated from BA Animation (2013) and BA Sound Arts & Design (2015) degrees respectively, at London College of Communication.
They both live and work in London. 


Frankie Roberts

Even Goodies and Baddies Have Mummies and Daddies
Performance: 19 July 6-9 pm

The "congregation" is offered a collage of overheard conversations, doctrinal catchphrases and advertising soundbites as Roberts riffs on desire as a consumable product and reflects on its conflict with the rawness of bodily mechanics.

Frankie Roberts is an interdisciplinary artist born in Cambridge UK who graduated from the Slade School of Art in 2018. Frankie's work draws on observed personal histories and narratives, using humour and hysteria to investigate the flippant mechanics of human emotional experience. She is interested in illustrating the evolution of an empathetic female existence in response to our current age of total sensory and psychological overwhelm.

Frankie has exhibited at Crypt Gallery, Electrowerkz and Small Press Project and performed at That's What She Said. Frankie lives and works in London, UK.


Clementine Robertson

Multi-sensory Performance & Installation: 26 July 6-9 pm

Clementine Robertson invites you into her earthen realm of curious contradictions; imaginative dreaming, immersive performance and ethno-botanical fantasy … are you an intrepid wanderer with dancing feet?

With a fascination for the relationship between people and plants and our human disconnect from the earthen realm, Clementine Robertson's current practice traces the migratory patterns of plants across the globe, interpreting their stories.Through a multidisciplinary practice she aims to make timeless connections, weaving stories and painting history through textiles and performance. Originally from Australia, she studied theatre and performance design in Scotland. She has spent recent years constructing immersive theatre, sculpting with raw earthen materials and working with Khmer weavers in Cambodia to create experimental textiles that reflect the contemporary environment.Through imaginative and visceral work she hopes to inspire a reconnection with our sensorial facets, re-invigorating the ‘intuitive’, the ‘curious’, the 'sensual’ and the ‘wild’, as part of our collective everyday experience.

Merve Basarir | 'Pussy Protectors' | Copyright the artist, courtesy of ALICE BLACK.png
Gianinna Delpino | 'The Weight of Thoughts' | Copyright the artist, courtesy of ALICE BLACK.jpg
Evelyn Drach for Square Space.png
Jack Greeley-Ward & Andrew Ford | 'The World Shadow' | Copyright the artists, courtesy of ALICE BLACK.jpg
Frankie Roberts | 'Even Goodies & Baddies Have Mummies & Daddies' | Copyright the artist, courtsey of ALICE BLACK.jpg



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