Newsletter: July 2020

Available to download in PDF format HERE.

Cubitt presents No Real Closure, a programme curated by Cubitt’s Curatorial Fellows 2020-21: Languid Hands.

No Real Closure is a platform for experimentation and development of black artistic practice across exhibitions, moving image, text, performance and public programming. Absent is the disproportionate emphasis on surface-level survey style programmes and representational focus: when we gather, we do so to manifest collaboration, exchange, dialogue, relationships – a sum greater than its individual parts. 

In a world of pandemics and insurrections, No Real Closure speaks to the persistent and ever present wounds of anti-blackness that are always already open. There is no closure to our ongoing work of dismantling the violent structures within which we cannot breathe. There is no closure to our collective resilience, nor to our communal grieving. No Real Closure is both acknowledgement and refusal, at once commitment and surrender.

Exhibition Programme

Languid Hands will curate five major new commissions of UK-based Black artists of Caribbean descent: R.I.P. Germain, Shenece Oretha, Ajamu X, Camara Taylor and Zinzi Minott.

The inaugural exhibition, R.I.P. Germain’s Dead Yard, opens to the public on Thursday 3rd September 2020: 

Luton-based artist R.I.P. Germain’s solo exhibition Dead Yard explores multiple forms of death and mourning relating to the artist's personal experiences and the viscerality of Black life in the UK. In addition to literal explorations of death and mourning, the exhibition gestures towards psychological and philosophical types of death: ego death, social death, and the mourning associated with incarceration, martyrdom and near death experiences, through the mediums of painting, sound and sculptural installation. Dead Yard is accompanied by a library of books related to the themes of the exhibition, presented as a ritual display for visitors to engage with. 

No Real Closure’s inaugural exhibition, Towards a Black Testimony, was cancelled earlier this year due to COVID-19. In lieu of the exhibition, Languid Hands are working towards a publication featuring new works from Barby Asante, Christopher Kirubi, Rebecca Bellantoni, Derica Shields and mayfly and documenting the various iterations of the project thus far. 

Towards a Black Testimony: Prayer/Protest/Peace was commissioned by Jerwood Arts as part of Collaborate!

Public Programme

Languid Hands are committed to creating accessible, multifaceted points of entry to their work - primarily through public programming in the form of live art and performance, film programmes, study groups, artist talks, and engagement with aspiring and emerging black artists. Information about events will be shared as the programme unfolds. 


Online Screening | Cubitt’s Vimeo 
BST | 12pm Wednesday 5th August - 6am Sunday 9th August

Conversation | Zoom 
BST | 6pm Thursday 6th August

link here to register

Towards a Black Testimony: Prayer, Protest, Peace is a moving image work by Languid Hands that examines Black Testimony as obscured, ignored and undermined. Drawing on archival imagery, Black geographies, and the dying declarations of Black Martyrs, the film explores the complexities of truth, empathy, justice, the law, life and death for the Black Mass. The film borrows its subtitle, structure and aspects of its score, from the third track on jazz drummer and composer Max Roach's 1960 album ‘We Insist! Freedom Now Suite’ featuring jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln.

The film will be available to watch online via Cubitt’s Vimeo for a limited period of 90 hours in celebration of Abbey Lincoln’s would-be 90th birthday, 6th August. 

Join Languid Hands for a conversation about Towards A Black Testimony with Gail Lewis, writer, psychotherapist, researcher and activist, and Michael B Gillespie, scholar and film theorist, at 6pm on Thursday 6th August.

Curatorial Tactics

As part of No Real Closure, Languid Hands have established Curatorial Tactics, a UK network for Black curators, practitioners and artists interested in curation. This network will come together in a series of public and private gatherings to develop and practice a collective curatorial ethics of care in defense of Black life, both in and outside of the arts. Areas of interest will include: moving beyond representation towards liberatory approaches and methodologies; formulating and practicing sustainable ways of working together; resisting competition; mutual aid and sharing resources; and political actions that seek to untether the arts from the carceral system and the prison industrial complex.

Curatorial Tactics is supported by Art Fund

Click here for Languid Hands’ notes on care and curation.

Upcoming Events


A workshop for young people aged 16-24 who live or go to school in Islington

BST | 11am - 3.30pm
Wednesday 29th July, Thursday 30th July, Friday 31st July 

Explore your stories of grief and hope through photography and collage, with interdisciplinary artist R.I.P. Germain. Through dialogue and making, you’ll work together to explore experiences of loss that have resulted from the events of recent months. In a safe space, you’ll discuss the systems that perpetuate racial injustice, and the movements that counter it. What are some of the different forms of grief? What have we lost, individually and collectively? How can we make sense of our experiences through visual storytelling?