Keisha Scarville’s “Hot/Slow/Step” is on view until October 11, 2022, at Huxley-Parlour Gallery (3-5 Swallow Street, London, England).
Also see details from the exhibition in The Guardian’s photographic essay “In limbo: Caribbean folklore – in pictures.” The Guardian writes: “A new exhibition takes its inspiration from the gravity defying limbo dance to explore race, immigration and the imagination. How low can you go?” [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing these links to our attention.]
Description (Huxley-Parlour Gallery): Scarville’s exhibition turns conceptually on the Caribbean limbo dance as a symbol of thresholds, the liminal, and the inbetween, through both abstract photography and sculpture. Using both narrative frameworks and archival material, the exhibition explores black subjectivity through metaphors of movement, negotiation and exchange.
Scarville’s exhibition takes an imaginative departure from writing on the Caribbean limbo dance, described by Guyanese author Wilson Harris as ‘a metamorphosis or new spatial character’ born of the Middle Passage – the forced voyage of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. Here, ‘the limbo dancer moves under a bar which is gradually lowered until a mere slit of space, it seems, remains through which with spread-eagled limbs he passes like a spider’. Harris sees the limbo dance as a folk manifestation of the Caribbean imagination, and a ‘gateway or threshold to a new world’, but also crucially as a matrix which encompasses histories of conquest and imperialism across civic boundaries, namely Caribbean, African, and Amerindian experiences. Scarville uses the limbo dance to explore notions of movement, thresholds, and inbetween-ness, both in her own movements between New York and Guyana, and in the Caribbean diasporic imagination more broadly.
[Shown above: Keisha Scarville’s “Within/Between/Corpus (1),” 2020. See https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2022/sep/29/in-limbo-caribbean-imagination-in-pictures]
For more information, see https://huxleyparlour.com/exhibitions/hot-slow-step