Read an open letter by over 60 Black artists & cultural workers in Switzerland to address anti-Black racism in the country’s arts institutions

17 June 2020

Over 60 Black artists and cultural workers in Switzerland have signed an open letter to address anti-Black racism within the country’s arts institutions, in an action that could serve as a useful template for similar calls globally.

Sent to 77 Swiss organisations last week, the letter demands a long term and concrete commitment to change, following social media posts by these institutions on social media. As stated in the letter: “We hereby ask you to be truly accountable and take action beyond the stage of social media. We ask you to implement real, tangible change and to become section leaders when it comes to anti-racist practices in the arts and culture landscape of Switzerland.”

The letter is available in English, French and German, making for a valuable resource towards further action against anti-Black racism in other contexts worldwide.

You can read the letter in full here.

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100+ labels & artists compiled by DJ & producer Raheim to spotlight black-owned operations before Bandcamp’s fee free Friday, Jun 5

5 June 2020

Raheim (aka Rahim Afful-Brown) has put together a list of 100+ black-owned labels to look out for ahead of Bandcamp‘s effort to support artists impacted by COVID-19 by waiving all sales fees on Friday, June 5.

The online music company’s effort has become imbued with added urgency as Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and systemic racism took off in the United States and the world, following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. London-based producer Afful-Brown—who also presents a monthly show on Reprezent Radio—sent out a tweet looking for black-owned labels on Wednesday, which gained so much traction he’s shared a public spreadsheet of artists and organisations to look out for today and in the future.

Put together with artist and musician Annie Pearson, the resource list is organised according to label name, owner and genre, along with Twitter handles, SoundCloud, Discogs and Bandcamp accounts, where applicable. The guide includes names like UNIIQU3’s Club Queen Records, Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland’s World Music and MikeQ’s Qween Beat, as well as Teklife, Rhythm Section, Scratcha DVA & Shy One’s DVA Music, Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder, Actress’s Werk Discs, and many more.

Bandcamp’s fee-free Friday is running from midnight to midnight PST on Friday, June 5.

You can see Raheim’s list of labels here.

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Announcing even my dreams don’t go outside: An AQNB art & music compendium from our community, out Apr 22

13 April 2020

AQNB is releasing even my dreams don’t go outside, a download-only album of new music and visual works on April 22.

Compiled and curated by our team, the compendium features contributions from artists featured on the platform in the recent past, alongside those helping to define our scene into the future. It’s inspired by the endless scroll of introspection that has come to define this time in global crisis, while aiming to build positive momentum and financial support for the artists involved during lockdown.

Music contributions come from Dasychira, Elvin Brandhi, Fauness, Keru Not Ever, Rui Ho, ssaliva and others, as well as visual pieces by Tea Stražičić, Alexander Iezzi, Emma Pryde and more. See the lovely cover art by Jennifer Mehigan below.

More to come, watch this space.**

even my dreams don’t go outside (2020). Compendium cover artwork by Jennifer Mehigan. Courtesy AQNB, London.
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Traumabarundkino makes room for some things new with events from Juliana Huxtable, Ziúr, Year0001 & more through February

5 February 2020

Happening throughout February, Berlin’s Traumabarundkino will be presenting a number of events, alongside and independent of the ongoing curatorial program for Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K‘s QT, UR, EA collaborative exhibition.

The Mitte-based venue has been working towards diverse collaborations with a spectrum of creative organisations and artists, since establishing itself in June 2018. This month that focus reaches a new level by featuring the five-year anniversary of Stockholm’s Year0001 label, the inaugural Break It Off presented by Juliana Huxtable and Ziúr, as well the launch of Borshch Magazine‘s ‘Dark Side’ issue, plus other things.

Here’s the list of scheduled events so far:

See the Traumabarunkino FB event page for details.**

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Merging the exhibition, performance & club space for Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K’s QT, UR, EA in Berlin, Jan 17 – Mar 14

Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K
8 January 2020

Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K‘s QT, UR, EA collaborative exhibition is on at Berlin’s Traumabarundkino, running January 17 to March 14.

Also featuring contributions from choreographer Ali Heffetz and A/V artists bod [包家巷], Alza54 and Simon Goff, the Mitte-based venue near the Hauptbanhof central train station and government district of Berlin will be transformed. Science fiction narratives derived from the virtual arenas of open video games will be transmitted through the multi-dimensional installation and exhibition that incorporates dance, performance, sound, real-time VR and permaculture.

Opening night will include a three-hour event with eight participants, meeting and engaging in scenes of spontaneous ceremonies and stage-fighting, while the project as a whole will continue to expand and evolve over its eight-week run. Curated by Madalina Stanescu, an accompanying curatorial program will merge exhibition, performance and club space to become a single organism.

See the FB event page for details.**

Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K
Mary-Audrey Ramirez & LUKAS8K, QT, UR, EA (2020). Promo image. Courtesy Traumabarundkino, Berlin.
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Examining the digital age’s supernatural imaginary & occult resurgence in the Paranormal Storytime event presented by AQNB at London’s The Yard Theatre

16 December 2019

Paranormal Storytime, an event presented by AQNB and curated by Jared Davis, is on at London’s The Yard Theatre on Sunday February 16, 2020, from 7pm. 

Taking its title from a phenomenon of supernatural stories shared by YouTube vloggers, Paranormal Storytime looks at the digital age’s occult resurgence and neo-gothic tendencies, as well as our fear of the unknown and its relation to technology. 

New York-based writer, critic and author of speculative fiction novel Oval Elvia Wilk will present a talk, and Cologne-via-Washington D.C producer Swan Meat will perform live, with her new EP soon to be released on Infinite Machine. The evening will also present a screening programme with video works by artists Tianzhuo Chen as well as Wang Newone. Berlin-based artist Tea Stražičić has designed Paranormal Storytime’s poster artwork.

Tickets are available now on Eventbrite, see the Facebook event for more details. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.**

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Traumabarundkino embraces collaboration with a show from The Transcendence Orchestra, Punctum, Thoom & more, Dec 13

4 December 2019

The Transcendence Orchestra is playing Berlin’s Traumabarundkino, with supports from Punctum, Thoom and Hatam on December 13.

As part of the Mitte-based venue’s progressive and inclusive agenda in unconventional settings, the night follows a series of events crossing disciplines—including dance, fashion, film, video art and, of course, music—since opening mid last year. The show ends 2019 by staying true to the venue’s focus on collaboration, intimacy and community with its programming, where Birmingham-based industrial techno producer Anthony Child (aka Surgeon)’s The Transcendence Orchestra project with Dan Bean of Bleep43 headline. Artist Darren Russell (aka Paddy Shine of Manchester psych band Gnod) joins them, with set design by Theresa Baumgartner.

The night will also include a rare performance from Caterina Barbieri and Carlo Maria Amadio’s Punctum collaboration, which reduces sound to its bare bones and explores abyssal sonic spaces. Club Chai affiliate Thoom will also be there to apply her percussive voice and drone style to a special set that oscillates between themes of vulnerability, playfulness and provocation by using repetition, utterances and song . Meanwhile, sound artist and composer Hatam—who is one half of Hacklander \ Hatam, a member of Labour and co-founder of NK Projekt space—will DJ to close.

Read more on the Traumabarundkino’s mission and see their FB event for event details.**

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LA-based producer Maral shares a ‘Spooky Halloweed’ mix in advance of Weed Rave’s next “stoner extravaganza” happening Oct 25

24 October 2019

Weed Rave‘s Halloweed event is on at a secret Los Angeles location on October 25, with an accompanying mix by local producer Maral premiering on AQNB today. The LA-based party and self-described “stoner extravaganza” champions what it calls the next evolution of nightlife culture centered around cannabis instead of alcohol.

Founded in early 2019 by cannabis and music journalist Michelle Lhooq, Weed Rave’s ‘Halloweed’ party will be headlined by DJ Assault and Bala Club‘s Kamixlo, alongside Kelman Duran, Maral and other stalwarts of LA’s rave scene. The downtown warehouse—which previously housed a cannabis grow-op—will be divided into an uptempo Sativa Room and chillout Indica Room, with a contrast between harsh industrial and spooky ambient sounds. 

Maral, who is playing the Indica room, is a staple in LA’s underground and recently released EP Mahur Club, based on Iranian folk music on Astral Plane Recordings. One of the scene’s rising talents, she played at the first Weed Rave back in January as part of an ambient room.

Track listing:

Andy Stott – Execution (maral eraserhead edit) 
Dj Assault – Return of Terror Tec
Dj Trajic – Headbangers 2-(2-3)-(6-3)
Aura T-09 & Doubtful Guest – Hardcore
Baby Crass – You’ve Got Big Hands (maral edit) 
Minimal Violence – Persuasive Behavior 
Julien Andreas – Trust in Filth 
Kamixlo – Mi Sabor
Maral – Someone Said K
elman Duran – Life Is Real
Chico Sonido – Swang Trappyton (maral edit) 
Aura T-09 – Brandy & Me 
Ghorba – Scoby Apprentice 
Ossia – Dub Hell 
Maral – Guess I’m Dumb edit 
Maral – The Empty edit
Kelman Duran – Just Jump Off 
Dj Haram – No Idol 
Maral – Joonie’s Jam 
Daniel Bedingfield – Gotta Get Thru This 
Dj Deeon – R U Sure 
Dj Nehpets – I Came To Bring The Pain 
The Screamers – 122 Hours of Fear (Part 1)

 Weed Rave’s Halloweed is on at a secret location on October 25, 2019.

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Creamcake announces full line-up for their 3hd Festival program, called “Fluid Wor(l)ds” & inspired by the art of storytelling

10 October 2019

The fifth edition of 3hd Festival is happening across venues in Berlin, running October 22 to 27.

Organized by interdisciplinary platform Creamcake, the program has been presenting artists working at the interface of visual art, music, performance and digital culture since 2015. This year’s theme is called “Fluid Wor(l)ds”, where participants are invited to share how they “navigate, renegotiate and adapt to the shifting realities of networked communication through language, text and narration.”

Artists and projects already announced include Alpha Maid, CURL / Akinola Davies Jr, Ruth Angel Edwards, Josefin Arnell & Max Göran as HellFun, Yen Tech, x/o, Julian-Jakob Kneer, and Malibu. Some of the new additions are Roxman Gatt, Laurel Halo, Hyph11E, Vika Kirchenbauer, mobilegirl, Qualiatik, Erica Scourti, Geo Wyeth, umru and many more from the almost 50-strong lineup. The event is taking place at Trauma Bar und Kino, Postscheckamt & HAU Hebbel Am Ufer, as well as online, along with a cross-platform anthology edited by AQNB editor Steph Kretowicz, and featuring contributions from Margaret Haines, Sarah M. Harrison, manuel arturo abreu and others.

See the 3hd Festival website for details.**

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Stacy Skolnik launches erotic poetry collection exploring consent & censorship at New York’s MX Gallery, Sep 19

17 September 2019

Stacy Skolnik is launching, with additional performances by Vanessa Place and Abby Lloyd at New York’s MX Gallery on September 19.

The New York-based artist, writer and Montez Press Radio crew member self-published the titular full-length collection of poems online on September 16, after the material on a corresponding Instagram account of the same name was banned by the social-networking service. Exploring consent, objectification, censorship, and the erotic, the poems often read carnal with some webspeak and come accompanied by provocative selfies of the artist:

“29 year old mouth 5’4 busty and who
are you? horny with a tongue? online? drive?”

The launch will include performances by artist-clown Lloyd and writer-lawyer Place, while flanked by Corey Presha’s Jackie Robinson, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, What’s Happening exhibition, which runs to October 24.

See the MX Gallery website for details.**

Stacy Skolnik, (2019). Online publication launch flyer. Courtesy the artist.
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Power & paradise: Anne Imhof’s Golden Lion award-winning Faust performance gets an album release on Berlin’s PAN, Sep 13

3 September 2019

Anne Imhof is releasing an album accompaniment to performance and exhibition Faust via Berlin’s PAN off-shoot soundtrack series, Entopia, on September 13.

Described by the press release as “part documentation and part elaboration”, the piece expands on the several-hour long live event and Golden Lion Award winner, presented as part of the 57th Venice Biennale. In an AQNB review of the show in 2017, Hadden Manhattan asked, “Can the latent allusions to fascism implicit within Imhof’s work maintain criticality, or do they encourage a dark public fascination with the totalitarian theatrics of power?”

Imhof’s album collaboration with Eliza Douglas, Billy Bultheel and Franziska Aigner continues the conversation, with one of three anchoring tracks, ‘Queen Song’, premiering through PAN already, which you can listen to below:

See the PAN website for details.**

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Creamcake’s third & final ‘Paradise Found’ concert ends with a ‘pop’ by featuring Dorian Electra, Shygirl & more, Aug 17

13 August 2019

Creamcake’s third & final ‘Paradise Found‘ music & performance series event is on at Berlin’s Klosterruine on August 17.

This closing concert brings together a spectrum of experimental and progressive sonic and cross-genre live acts to explore its themes of intense transmission between bodies of all kinds, in the tranquil ruins of an inner city monastery. Following the more contemplative and eccentric earlier events, ‘Paradise Found 3’ dials up on its pop inclinations, with Los Angeles-based rising pop star Dorian Electra presenting their futuristic sound and queer satire, along with the wit and humour of London lyricist and DJ Shygirl. Multidisciplinary artist and Quantum Natives artist i.Ruuu, as well DJ and curator of “post-gender avatar” Agatha Valkyrie Ice‘s mixtape series Brooklyn Bridge also take part.

See the Creamcake FB event for more details.**

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Sound and bodies in wordless dialogue with Last Yearz Interesting Negro & Rowdy SS for DEMO – Deptford Moving Image Festival, June 21

20 June 2019

A performance by Last Yearz Interesting Negro & Rowdy SS as well as a screening by Invernomuto will be presented in a live event at the inaugural DEMO – Deptford Moving Image Festival on Friday 21 June.

Taking place at the Deptford Church Hall, this event titled Sonic Bodies, Broken Lines, Reversible Time sees Jamila Johnson-Small aka Last Yearz Interesting Negro & Rowdy SS present their work Fury1. The piece features movement and sonic performance, which the artists describe as “Sound and bodies in wordless dialog like light that refracts in the prism of the moving crowd.” The event will also present a screening of Italian artist duo Invernomuto’s filmNegus (2016).

See the DEMO – Deptford Moving Image Festival website for more details.**

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The potential for political organisation and direct action in Creamcake’s Euromall at Goethe Pop Up Minneapolis, June 15 & 16

12 June 2019

Berlin-based music platform Creamcake will be in Minneapolis this weekend to present  Euromall with Goethe Pop Up Minneapolis at the city’s Skyways Center & Honey Club running June 15 & 16, 2019.

The premise of the event lies in a “belief in the possibilities of political organisation and direct action” and takes inspiration from Creamcake’s previous Europool series, developed in response to the socio-political upheaval occurring within the European Union of late. With Euromall, Creamcake will place a similar emphasis on progressive action coming out of arts and music communities, “spotlighting grass-roots initiatives, cultural collaborations, and artistic practices” and within that reflect upon the ties that exist between Europe and the United States today.

Through talks and performances, the two-day event will draw together musicians, artists and researchers from the fields of art, law, sociology, politics and media. Euromall will open with a discussion led by sociologist Aleksandra Lakić on recent EU parliamentary elections. Producer FAUNA will provide insight into the “right-wing populist movement of Austria’s FPÖ party and the “Ibiza scandal.”” and AQNB’s Steph Kretowicz will give a specially developed performance exploring “the personal effects of fear, fake-news and new technologies across continents.” Media artist and founder of Centre for Emotional Materiality, Surabhi Saraf will give a sound performance, followed by a night of music at Honey Club, along with Alobhe and DJ Larry.  

Image credit: Salim Bayri’s ‘Road to Schengen’. Video still. Image courtesy the artist and Creamcake, Berlin.

Creamcake’s Euromail will be presented by Goethe Pop Up Minneapolis at the city’s Skyways Center & Honey Club running June 15 & 16, 2019.

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A look at multi-species entanglements in site-specific works by nabbteeri, Ane Graff & Ingela Ihrman at the 58th Venice Biennale’s Nordic Pavilion

8 May 2019

The Nordic Pavilion for the 58th Venice Biennale opens this week, with an exhibition titled Weather Report: Forecasting Future that will run from May 11 to November 24. 

Ane Graff, States of Inflammation (2019). Detail of a work in progress. Image courtesy the artist.

Responding to themes of human and non-human relations in a time of climate crisis, the exhibition considers how “humans face the responsibility of acknowledging multispecies entanglements and the need to renegotiate existing interspecies relations.” The show features work by Finnish duo nabbteeri, whose installations incorporate compost and organic waste from the Biennale, as well as a sanctuary for birds among the swarming tourist hub. Norwegian artist Ane Graff creates mineral-like new materialist sculptures that draw from research into scientific disciplines of microbiology and chemistry. Swedish artist Ingela Ihrman uses craft, costume and performance traditions to playfully and “critically analyse culture-nature divisions and to open up the prevailing male and scientific gaze to queer horizons.”

nabbteeri, Blackout (2018). Installation view. Image courtesy the artists + Titanik, Turku.

The Nordic Pavilion is a space for collaboration between Finland, Norway and Sweden, with commissioning duties alternating between the three countries with each Biennale. This year’s iteration is commissioned by Kiasma, Finland. The artists will work with the interior and exterior surrounds of the exhibition space, playing with the show’s theme and the way in which the pavilion itself — constructed around large indoor trees and susceptible to external weather factors — is at stake with future climates.**

Weather Report: Forecasting Future is on view at the Nordic Pavilion for the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale Di Venezia from May 11 to November 24, 2019. See Kiasma’s website for more details.

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Club initiatives Eastern Margins & UNITI join for a spring equinox party in London, Apr 18

16 April 2019

London club collectives Eastern Margins and UNITI have teamed up for a night at The Yard on Thursday April 18. 

As part of UNITI’s PLUR (Peace Love UNITI Rave) event series, this spring equinox party will feature live sets from Vancouver’s x/o, Mun Sing (aka Giant Swan’s Harry Wright), UNITI founder Englesia, as well as DJ sets from Eastern Margins Allstars and DJ Pussiephuss. The event is a pairing of two forward-thinking London club initiatives: Eastern Margins, who provide space for East and South-East Asian club musicians, along with UNITI, a platform that foregrounds LGBTQ+, womxn as well as non-binary DJs and producers.

Eastern Margins have compiled a Spotify playlist of some their favourite tracks by the artists performing at the event. Listen to a 2018 track from x/o called ‘Orchid Dream’ below.**

Eastern Margins x UNITI featuring x/o, Mun Sing, Englesia, DJ Pussiephuss is on at London’s The Yard, April 18, 2019.

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Montez Press Radio takes its broadcast experiment to the west coast for Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair, Apr 12 – 14

12 April 2019

Montez Press Radio is taking up residency for this year’s Printed Matter LA Art Book Fair at Los Angeles’ Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, running April 12 to 14.

Described as “an experiment in radio broadcasting which plays in the boundaries of conversation, performance, distribution, and access through the lens of contemporary art,” the project is headed by New York, London, and Hamburg-based publisher Montez Press. Their first summer residency program ran July 19 to August 19, 2018, and included the likes of Hard to ReadNYC Trans Oral History Project, Triple Canopy and Berlin Community Radio, as well as AQNB’s own Content Prole: A journey into the depths of the online gig economy collaboration with Matthew O’Shannessy.

Montez Press Radio has since broadcast from an RV at the New York Art Book Fair, done a takeover on Food Radio and returned to their original location in NYC’s Chinatown. This will be their first time in California, featuring shows with Amalia Ulman, X-TRA, Shevaun Wright, Lila de Magalhaes, Ana Iwataki and many more.

See the Montez Press Radio website for details.**

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Perth’s Cool Change reflects on sharing & receiving knowledge in book form at the Folding Together group exhibition, Mar 1 – 23

27 February 2019

The Folding Together group exhibition is on at Perth’s Cool Change Contemporary, opening March 1 and running to March 23.

Featuring work by the likes of Dan Bourke & Clare WohlnickAnna Dunnill, Gabby Loo, Ben Rodin and Connor Xia, among others, the show is a celebration of the diverse independent publishing pursuits of artists who share a connection to Perth and Western Australia. The temporary library and reading space in Gallery 1 (Gallery 2 will feature Marisa Georgiou‘s solo exhibition) gives visitors the chance to encounter books by Leonie BrialeySophie Durand and Janet Carter, as part of the “reflexive retrospective on the act of sharing and receiving knowledge.”

AQNB editor Steph Kretowicz also contributes her novel, Somewhere I’ve Never Been, whose accompanying seven-part radio series — produced with artist and sound designer Kimmo Modig — is now available to hear in full (below).

See the Cool Change Contemporary website for details.**

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Angel-Ho unveils her global neo-pop with the lead single from her upcoming ‘Death Becomes Her’ album, Mar 1

6 December 2018

Angel-Ho announces new album Death Becomes Her, released via London’s Hyperdub on March 1, with lead single ‘Like A Girl’ featuring Brooklyn-based emcee K Rizz.  

The Capetown-based performer, producer and DJ released her Ascension EP via Halcyon Veil in 2015, followed by an EP and Red Devil album debut on the NON Worldwide label, which she co-founded with Nkisi and Chino Amobi.

Inspired by Lady Gaga, Missy Elliot, Bjork and Kanye West among others, Death Becomes Her features transatlantic collaborations with the likes of Nunu, Baby Caramel, Asmara Maroof of Nguzunguzu, Bon and Gaika

 See the Hyperdub website for details.**

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The Young London 2018 & its Friday Lates series at v22 Silvertown Studios presents the city’s emerging talent, Sep 21 – Nov 4

5 October 2018

The Young London 2018 group exhibition is on at London’s v22 Silvertown Studios, running September 21 to November 4. 

Curated by Rowan Geddis, the show is the fourth edition of an ongoing large-scale exhibition series featuring recent works by the city’s emerging artists. There are 19 taking part this year, including Sebastian Jefford, Benjamin Orlow, Luke Overin, Harriet Rickard, Eleanor Sikorski,  Mathew ParkinFreddy Tuppen and more, as well as Carl Gent, whom AQNB interviewed recently in conjunction with their ‘fals tru luvvers a’shore an H’agiographic dysphonia’ contribution.

Along with the exhibition — that also includes commissioned and site-specific works — there is a weekly series of after-hours events, called Friday Lates, where artists are encouraged to elaborate on and exchange ideas around their work with visitors in a more intimate setting.**

See the V22 collection for details.**

Carl Gent, ‘fals tru luvvers a’shore an H’agiographic dysphonia’ (2018). Installation view. Courtesy the artist + V22, London.

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