Hannah Black
Some Context
22 September 2017 – 10 December 2017
Opening: Thursday 21 September

Chisenhale Gallery presents a new commission and the first solo exhibition in a UK institution by Hannah Black.

Some Context is structured around 20,000 copies of The Situation, a book made up of transcribed, edited and censored conversations between the artist and friends about ‘the situation’. This theme is interpreted differently in each conversation. The books provide the stuffing – in shredded form – for the ‘transitional objects’ also displayed in the space, and will be shredded at the end of the exhibition.

In this new body of work Black continues to develop her enquiry into the production of, and the gaps between, practices and theories of subjectivity and collectivity. Some Context gestures towards the various potential uses of art’s uselessness – as comfort, as worship, as text and as archive.

As part of the commissioning process, a programme of events has been devised in collaboration with Black. This includes a series of conversations in which participants have been invited to discuss a situation of their choice. Black, Bonaventure (Soraya Lutangu) and Ebba Fransén Waldhör also present Anxietina (The Situation), an iteration of their ongoing performance collaboration; incorporating installation, live music and spoken word.

Hannah Black (born 1981, Manchester) lives and works in New York. Most recently, Black’s installation, performance and moving image works have explored the co-dependency of credit, debt and guilt, the use of analogy in biology, and the tension between biomedical and political understandings of trauma. Her works fuse dissonant materials through formal similarities: a drawn-out note in a song becomes the cry of a falling person, or the corporality of bodybuilders is conflated and contrasted with the speculative nature of finance capital as embodied in vacant luxury apartment buildings.

Previous solo exhibitions include Small Room, mumok, Vienna; Soc or Barb, Bodega, New York (all 2017); and Not You, Arcadia Missa, London (2015). Selected group exhibitions include In The Flesh (Part Two), Gallery Diet, Miami; and Welt Am Draht, Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin (both 2016); The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Yarat Contemporary Art Centre, Baku; and Does Not Equal, W139, Amsterdam, (both 2015). In 2017 her performance OR LIFE OR was presented at PS1 MoMA, New York. Her writing has been published in Tank, The New Inquiry, Texte zur Kunst, Artforum and frieze d/e. Her book Dark Pool Party (Dominica/Arcadia Missa) was published in 2016 and Life (Walther König/mumok), written in collaboration with Juliana Huxtable, was published in 2017.

Lead Supporter: Shane Akeroyd.

Hannah Black’s exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery is supported by Fabiana Marenghi Vaselli Bond; Julia Stoschek; The Elephant Trust; and Arts Council England Grants for the Arts. With additional support from the Hannah Black Supporters Circle.

Chisenhale Gallery’s Commissions Programme 2017-19 is supported by the LUMA Foundation.

Chisenhale Gallery’s Curatorial Trainee Programme 2016-18 is supported by Sirine and Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh.

Chisenhale Gallery’s Talks & Events Programme 2017 is supported by Helen Thorpe.

Hannah Black

Screen print on Somerset soft white 300gsm
42 x 60 cm
Edition of 65

£120 (unframed)
Chisenhale Friends’ price: £108 (unframed)*

*Please note that Chisenhale Friends price is available to those who have supported the gallery via the Benefactors scheme. For more information on the scheme please click here.

Please note that, as is the norm for limited edition works, prices will increase as an edition sells out.

Hannah Black’s exhibition Some Context is structured around 20,000 copies of The Situation, a book made up of transcribed, edited and censored conversations between the artist and friends about ‘the situation’. This theme is interpreted differently in each conversation. The books provide the stuffing – in shredded form – for the ‘transitional objects’ also displayed in the space, and will be shredded at the end of the exhibition.

For her new edition, Untitled (2017) Black repurposes imagery from the cover of The Situation (2017). The screen print depicts the names of Black’s collaborators who conducted conversations with the artist about ‘the situation’. Layers of names merge into one another. Two teddy bears – which are a prominent aspect of Black’s exhibition – stand on top of the graphic image. One appears to be shredding a book, while the other is walking away with one under their arm.

Hannah Black (born 1981, Manchester) lives and works in New York. Previous solo exhibitions include Small Room, mumok, Vienna; Soc or Barb, Bodega, New York (all 2017); and Not You, Arcadia Missa, London (2015). Selected group exhibitions include In The Flesh (Part Two), Gallery Diet, Miami; and Welt Am Draht, Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin (both 2016); The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Yarat Contemporary Art Centre, Baku; and Does Not Equal, W139, Amsterdam, (both 2015). In 2017 her performance OR LIFE OR was presented at PS1 MoMA, New York. Her writing has been published in TankThe New InquiryTexte zur KunstArtforum and frieze d/e. Her book Dark Pool Party (Dominica/Arcadia Missa) was published in 2016 and Life (Walther König/mumok), written in collaboration with Juliana Huxtable, was published in 2017.

  • Hannah Black Limited Edition Print
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    media@chisenhale.org.uk or
    Ellen Greig on +44 (0)20 3328 1964 or ellen.greig@chisenhale.org.uk



Hannah Black
Thursday 19 October

Thursday 19 October, 7pm
A conversation between Larne Abse Gogarty, art historian and critic, and Hannah Proctor, cultural historian and theorist, who have recently collaborated on a text titled Communist Feelings.

Saturday 18 November, 4pm 
A conversation between Ayesha Taylor and Hannah Caller, members of the Focus E15 Campaign. The organisation was founded in 2013 to campaign for social housing in London.

Thursday 2 November, 7pm
A conversation between Ciarán Finlayson, writer and member of the political education collective Hic Rosa, and Marina Vishmidt, Lecturer in Culture Industry at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Hannah Black in conversation with Kodwo Eshun

Saturday 16 September, 2pm

Hannah Black and Kodwo Eshun, Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London and co-founder of the Otolith Collective, discuss Black's new commission. This event was cancelled. 

Derica Shields in conversation with Hudda Khaireh

Wednesday 27 September, 7pm

A conversation between Derica Shields, writer, programmer and co-founder of The Future Weird, and Hudda Khaireh, an independent researcher and member of Thick/er Black Lines artist collective.

Hannah Black, Bonaventure (Soraya Lutangu) and Ebba Fransén Waldhör

Friday 6 October, 7pm

Hannah Black, Bonaventure (Soraya Lutangu) and Ebba Fransén Waldhör present an iteration of their ongoing performance collaboration, previously shown at MoMA PS1, New York (OR LIFE OR, 2017) and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London (Anxietina, 2016).

Some Context: Coffee Morning

Friday 13 October, 9 – 10.30am

An early morning viewing of Hannah Black’s exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery, with an introduction to the work by Emma Moore, Offsite and Education Curator. Coffee and cakes generously provided by the East End Women’s Institute.

Larne Abse Gogarty in conversation with Hannah Proctor

Thursday 19 October, 7pm

A conversation between Larne Abse Gogarty, art historian and critic, and Hannah Proctor, cultural historian and theorist, who have recently collaborated on a text titled Communist FeelingsTo listen to a recording of this event, please visit our Audio/Video page here

Ciarán Finlayson in conversation with Marina Vishmidt

Thursday 2 November, 7pm

A conversation between Ciarán Finlayson, writer and member of the political education collective Hic Rosa, and Marina Vishmidt, Lecturer in Culture Industry at Goldsmiths, University of London. To listen to a recording of this event, please visit our Audio/Video page here.

Focus E15 Campaign

Saturday 18 November, 4pm

A conversation between members of the Focus E15 Campaign, an organisation founded in 2013 to campaign for social housing in London. To listen to a recording of this event, please visit our Audio/Video page here.