Languid Hands. Curatorial Fellows 2020-21

Languid Hands is a London-based artistic and curatorial collaboration between Rabz Lansiquot, a filmmaker, curator, and DJ, and Imani Robinson, writer, live art practitioner, and prison abolitionist. Their work is informed by ongoing explorations in Black and queer studies, Black creative practice, Black liberatory praxis and queer methodologies. They began collaborating in 2015, through the collective sorryyoufeeluncomfortable (SYFU). With SYFU they produced public programming in a number of institutional and independent contexts in the U.K. and Europe including curated screenings, collective readings, performances, workshops and discussions, and curated exhibitions including the BBZBLKBK Alternative Graduate Show 2018 at Copeland Gallery, London and (BUT) WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT WHITE SUPREMACY?, a group exhibition at Many Studios as part of Glasgow International Festival 2018. In 2019, as Languid Hands, they made the film Towards a Black Testimony: Prayer, Protest, Peace commissioned by Jerwood Arts for the group exhibition Jerwood Collaborate! which was also exhibited at Stroom, Den Haag, alongside a curated public programme of performances by artists from their extended community. Currently, away, completely: denigrate, a group show curated by Languid Hands is on view at Fitzrovia's narrative projects.

Rabz Lansiquot is a filmmaker, programmer, curator, and DJ. They were a leading member of sorryyoufeeluncomfortable (SYFU) collective from its inception in 2014. Rabz was Curator In Residence at LUX Moving Image in 2019, developing a public and educational programme around Black liberatory cinema. Their first solo exhibition where did we land, an experimental visual essay exploring the use of images of anti-black violence in film and media, was on view at LUX in Summer 2019, presented alongside a programme of screenings and a study day. They have curated film programmes at the ICA, SQIFF, Berwick Film & Media Festival and were a programme advisor for London Film Festival’s Experimenta strand in 2019, and are on the selection committee for Sheffield Doc Fest 2020. Rabz is also training to deliver workshops in using and eco-processing Super 8 at not.nowhere and is a board member at City Projects.

Imani Robinson is a London-based writer, live art practitioner, and prison abolitionist. They completed their MA in Forensic Architecture at the Centre for Research Architecture in 2019 and will begin a Study Residency at LADA in 2020, made possible by the ACE Developing Your Creative Practice grant which Imani was recently awarded. Besides Languid Hands, recent projects include: Ditto & Ditto Take a Trip to Port Authority, a moving image work made with Halima Haruna; WELCOME NOTE IN A WELCOME SPEECH, a collaborative performance with artist Libita Clayton; and The Black Drift, an ongoing series of workshops and performances exploring Black geographies and the psychic afterlives of transatlantic slavery. Imani’s writing has been published widely, including by Wasafiri magazine, Mousse Publishing, PSS, 1_1 and Arcadia Missa. They are also the editor of Talking Drugs, an online platform dedicated to providing unique news and analysis on drug policy, harm reduction and related issues around the world.

No Real Closure Programme by Languid Hands

Available to download in PDF format HERE.

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.

R.I.P. GERMAIN DEAD YARD

Dead Yard was a solo exhibition by Luton-based artist R.I.P. Germain and the inaugural exhibition curated by Languid Hands.

R.I.P Germain’s Dead Yard explores multiple forms of death and mourning relating to the artist's personal experiences and the ongoing 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.

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. 

Happy Birthday Abbey Lincoln! Towards A Black Testimony: Prayer/Protest/Peace Screening and Conversation



More from Languid Hands

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.

Read Watch Listen: Introducing Languid Hands

BFI Experimenta Debate: Rabz Lansiquot on Representation and Praxis

The Languid Hands Mind Map

Objects Who Testify by Imani Robinson