Marianne Keating : The Moon Is Right Over My Head at Black Tower Projects, London.
The Moon Is Right Over My Head addresses Irish/Jamaican anti-colonial ties and the hidden histories of the Irish diaspora in Jamaica.
The title is taken from the One Love Peace Concert at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on April 22, 1978, held during the height of the political civil war between two opposing parties: the People’s National Party and the Jamaican Labour Party. Bob Marley improvises lyrics as he waits to see if the impossible will happen: for Prime Minister Michael Manley to join him on stage with the leader of the opposition Edward Seaga, in the hopes of bringing peace to a waring Jamaica. The Moon Is Right Over My Head speaks of those moments on the cusp, when anything is possible, and nothing is certain.
Marianne Keating’s research examines the resulting legacy of the undocumented migration of the Irish diaspora to Jamaica during the nineteenth century, addressing their impact on contemporary Jamaica whilst responding to the cultural legacies of colonialism and the human consequences of imperialism. The exhibition examines both Ireland and Jamaica’s fight for self-determination and independence from the British Empire, which mirrored similar anti-colonial and liberation movements across the globe.
At the centre of the exhibition are three films. Better Must Come – A New Jamaica (2019) interrogates the impact of the enduring two-party political system and the resulting gang violence on contemporary Jamaica. A Beautiful Dream (2020) explores Ireland during 1920 and the escalation of the Irish War of Independence. A Riotous Assembly (2020) examines the 1938 workers strikes in Jamaica, a pivotal moment in the nation’s history.
Keating situates her practice within the historiographic turn in contemporary art discourse and in relation to the Archive, examining unrecorded, private and disregarded histories. Her multi-disciplinary approach to the research, the archival record and the archival image, questions the legitimacy of the Archive within recorded image and text. She aims to determine new historical readings that counter the dominant “master narratives” of Western nationhood, identity and culture, rewriting the histories of the dominated “Other” in order to amplify voices which were previously rendered mute.
The Moon Is Right Over My Head examines Irish/Jamaican connections and the search for a new liberation when history is not history, but what happens now.
The Moon Is Right Over My Head runs from 24th of September until 31st October and is open Thursday to Saturday from 12-6pm or by appointment.
The exhibition and online events are free and open to all.
Black Tower Broadcasts:
Alongside the exhibition, Black Tower will launch an online programme of film screenings and conversations.
Please go to www.blacktowerprojects.com/broadcasts/
Thursday 8th October 8pm
Dr. Davinia Gregory is an interdisciplinary writer, researcher and educator, currently working as Assistant Professor of Arts Administration at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, New York. With a background in history of design and the sociology of Race, Gregory’s teaching and museum education work and research have been rooted in material culture studies, Caribbean studies, diaspora studies and cultural policy studies, focusing on challenging the hierarchies and inequalities that the arts can either serve to sustain or disrupt.
Thursday 15th October 8pm
Derek Bishton is a journalist and photographer with a longstanding interest in Rastafari history, music and ‘livity’. Merrise Crooks-Bishton is a teacher who founded Handprint, a community publishing project based in Handsworth, Birmingham. Derek and Merrise will join Marianne for a conversation about their work over the past 40 years, including the Beach House artists’ residency in Jamaica where they first met Marianne.
Thursday 22nd October 8pm
Landlessness: 21/09 – 27/09