Claire Partington and Charles Freger
Exhibition: – 19 Oct 2019
Thu 26 Sep 18:30
James Freeman Gallery
354 Upper Street
N1 0PD London
We are pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Claire Partington and Charles Freger, two artists who explore how cultural identities survive, rebel, and reinvent themselves through historical motifs.
Claire Partington is a British artist whose ceramic figures draw deeply on the history of art to explore themes of feminism and power.
Charles Freger is a French photographer who uses portraiture as contemporary anthropology, documenting folk costumes to capture the traditions and histories of communities across the globe. The works in this exhibition are taken from his latest project Cimarron which looks at the African diaspora in the Americas. The legacy of slavery is the inevitable spectre, and the Cimarron works describe how ritual and dress constitute acts of resistance against the imposition of power from without. Despite covering over a vast geographical area and being articulated in diverse displays, there are some common motifs: the image of the Devil, often interpreted as an agent of resistance and mischief against authority; the whip as a symbol of control, as well as an echo of a fetish; and the use of the body as a canvas to be painted, both as a tribute to the earliest slaves and as a defense against the harsh American environment. Together they constutite important cultural documents of the role of theatre in both the definition and the endurance of cultural identity.