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          Commission Series x 2022         
  

 
Commission Series x Dominique White


(Under) studies in Non-Description


2022




Traditional geographies did, and arguably still do, require black displacement, black placelessness, black labour, and a black population that submissively stays “in place”.

In mathematics, physics, and computer science, the demonic connotes a working system that cannot have a determined, or knowable, outcome. The demonic, then, is a nondeterministic schema; it is a process that is hinged on uncertainty and nonlinearity because the organizing principle cannot predict the future.

Κatherine McKittrick, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle


DEO projects presents (Under)studies in Non-Description at the old horse stables of Choremiko - the first Greek presentation of the British-born, Marseille-based artist Dominique White as part of the Commission Series Programme.

The exhibition brings together newly produced sculptural studies and sketches to examine marine categorisation and the “demonic grounds” as speculated by the authors Alexis Pauline Gumbs (2020, Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals) and Katherine McKittrick (2006, Demonic Grounds Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle & & 2021, Dear Science and Other Stories).

Since its inception, natural science has been used to construct knowledge, order, and power over nature through the study and taxonomy of species and the physical world. The artist pays attention to marine biology and its scientific failure to categorise sea mammals and deep-sea creatures and enlights the systemic inability to register their existence beyond automatic and binary classifications. Intertwined with black feminist theories and intrigued by the idea of blackness evading capture, the artist explores speculative possibilities to create corrupted, undetermined outcomes (or demonic grounds) in the fixed parameters of Man[1], forcing the existing colonial system of thoughts to collapse. 

During her two-month residency in Chios, the artist researched the maritime tradition of the island and took notes of the histories that still follow the colonial imagination. Unpacking how local nautical history has been constructed and highlighting the power of infrastructural mechanisms to claim unfounded stories – including the numerous narratives depicting the connection of Columbus to Chios – (Under)studies in Non-Description rejects the epistemic violence of categorisation and studying of the Other.

Within the exhibition venue, the viewer encounters a series of sketches on black paper –references for future works depicting scenes of escape, resilience and possibly emancipation. Delicately located, human-size iron studies in queer forms – models of whaling harpoons – standing sinister in the space. Designed to contort with the movement of the sea mammals as they tried to evade capture and death, the whaling harpoons enter a limbo state due to the absence of the kill. 

(Under)studies in Non-Description proposes conjectural futures beyond linear timescales when there are no bodies left to hunt, classify and conquer. When the captured, owned, and traded body escapes, and the harpoon becomes so deranged by its hunger that it potentially starts to consume itself.

Akis Kokkinos

Exhibition curator









Commission Series programme for 2022 is financially supported by the DEO patron Circle with the additional support of the 2022 guest patrons.



         Project participants         
 


Dominique White | Invited Artist


Dominique White (b. 1993, UK) lives in Marseille (FR) and works nomadically. Recent and exhibitions include The Cinders of the Wreck at Triangle - Astérides, Marseille (2022), Hydra Decapita at VEDA Firenze, Florence (2021); Techno Worlds at Art Quarter Budapest, commissioned by Goethe-Institut (2021) and Blackness in Democracy's Graveyard at UKS, Oslo (2021).

White was awarded the ad occhi chiusi... prize by Fondazione Merz in 2021 and the Roger Pailhas Prize in 2019 in conjunction with her solo presentations with VEDA Firenze and has received awards from Artangel (UK) and the Henry Moore Foundation (UK) in 2020. White was in residency at Sagrada Mercancía (CL), Triangle France – Astérides (FR) and La Becque (CH) in 2020 and 2021.

Dominique White's works can be found in private collections in Italy and Belgium.

The artist is represented by VEDA Firenze.




Ato & Tonya Wright | Invited Patrons


Drs. Ato and Tonya Wright, a Radiation Oncologist and Obstetrician/Gynecologist respectively, currently reside in Pennsylvania, USA. Their journey into the art world however, has been shaped by their respective upbringings in Ghana and Anguilla. Their artistic focus is on collecting art and supporting artists of the African Diaspora. Their primary goal in the art ecosystem is to be positive patrons, responsible consultants, and passionate advocates to assist in the promotion, procurement, and placement of art to other like-minded individuals and institutions. Their collection and virtual gallery via Instagram, serves as a platform to introduce more people, especially those of color, to collecting and emphasizes the importance of preserving this crucial part of culture and history. Together, the Wrights hope to continue to promote art as a lens with which to view the world for what it is, what it has been, and what it will be in the future.




         Old Horse Stables of Choremiko         
 

Choremis orchard is linked to a family of historical personalities and benefactors of Greece, and remains their property –an estate of approximately 8 acres today, in the heart of Chora, alive and fragrant for 400 years. It is believed to be the garden where the uniquely fragrant Chios mandarin –as it is called today– was first cultivated, brought by the family from India, and then spread to the orchards of Kampos, which are residential and agricultural complexes similar to Choremiko. The building where the exhibition takes place was constructed on the site of the old stables, as evidenced by the metal “horse tethers”, now integrated into the simple decoration. Here were also the storehouses for the estate’s grains and animal production: the corner smokehouse, where the meat was hung by chains to be smoked in the fire, has remained in its original place. Another distinctive feature is the hand powered “fountana”: a rainwater tank to ensure the autonomy of the estate.

         Educational workshop for children         
 

Taking Dominique White’s art exhibition as a starting point, DEO Projects organises an educational workshop for children aged 6-12 years old. The children will visit the exhibition at the Old Horse Stables of Choremiko and stay in the lobby of the venue to interact and express themselves on the axes of “drawing-painting-sculpture”.


The workshop will take place at 20 Kontogianni Street, every Tuesday at 11:30 am, from 19 July for four consecutive Tuesdays (last Tuesday: 9 August). The duration of each workshop will be approximately 1 hour.


The materials to be used by the children are provided by DEO and participation is free of charge.


Workshop coordination: Nafsika Saliari, architect-visual artist


Reservation at info@deoprojects.com


Maximum number of participants per day: 12 children




Chios island, Greece