Cugoano250: Julianknxx performance Chorus in Flight

Church Window Mask

Sat 14 October, 7pm

Julianknxx presents a special performance with a community choir and other collaborators, songs which echo the notion of ‘flight’ in relation to Africa, coinciding with Frieze London and his exhibition Chorus in Rememory of Flight at Barbican.

Julianknxx, the interdisciplinary artist, poet, and filmmaker, will present a significant performance in collaboration with a London-based community choir an ode to Quobna Ottobah Cugoano – the prominent abolitionist and historical figure in Black Britain. This choral performance forms part of a wider multi-artform cultural programme curated by Ekow Eshun commemorating the 250th anniversary of the baptism of Cugoano at St James’s.

11. Julianknxx, Still of Black Corporeal (Between This Air), 2022 © Studioknxx

Chorus in Rememory of Flight, 14 September 2023 to 11 February 2024

Julianknxx’s performance resonates with the spirit of resistance, memory, and the intersection of diverse narratives, inviting audiences to engage in active listening, continuous learning, and boundless exploration. Intimately connected with his presentation at the Barbican ‘Chorus in Rememory of Flight’ – on view from September, Julianknxx uses his personal history as a formative influence for challenging and reimagining dominant perspectives on African art, history and culture. Drawing on oral history traditions and working with a distinctive aesthetic approach, his practice attempts to reframe how we construct both local and global narratives, while reflecting on how it feels to exist in liminal spaces.

More about Chorus in Rememory of Flight at Barbican

About Julianknxx

Julianknxx is an artist at the intersection of poetry, visual art, and filmmaking. He engages in an existential inquiry that captures the ineffable realities of human experiences while critically examining the structures that shape our lives. By casting his own practice as a ‘living archive’ or a ‘history from below’, Julianknxx draws inspiration from West African traditions of oral history to reframe how we construct both local and global perspectives. His body of work challenges fixed notions of identity and dismantles the linear narratives that dominate Western historical and socio-political discourses. His aim is to reconcile the complex experience of existing primarily within liminal spaces.

Julianknxx is currently a resident artist at 180 Studios in London and has exhibited his work in the UK and internationally with an upcoming solo exhibition at the Barbican in September 2023. Recent group shows include A Common World at Tate Modern, London (2023); Rites of Passage at Gagosian, London (2023); To Be Held at Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate (2023). Additional past exhibitions include Whitechapel Gallery Open, London (2022); Nocturnal Creatures at Whitechapel Gallery (2021); Lux at 180 The Strand, London (2021); The View from There at Sadie Coles HQ, London (2021); Contra La Raza [Against Race] at Matadero, Madrid (2021); Roots & Roads at Franklin Street Works, Stamford CT (2020); and Now Gallery, London (2019).

Recent performances include Art Basel Conversations: Sonic Performance, Basel (2023) and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2023). Further projects include an online residency with Fact Magazine (2021) and  performances at OT301 Amsterdam (2020);  ICA London (2019); Jazz Cafe for BBC Radio 5; and participation in the London Literature Festival at Southbank Centre (2018).

Julianknxx was born in 1987 in Sierra Leone and now lives and works in London, UK.