An Exercise in Exorcism: Ashanti Harris

An Exercise in Exorcism 
Ashanti Harris
Gallery 1
Saturday 20 November, 4pm

Ashanti Harris utilises dance, performance and installation to reimagine historical narratives from a Caribbean diasporic perspective. Working with a desire to make invisible histories visible, her recent research explores the colonial relationship between Guyana and Scotland and the ways in which these geographies and cultures are ‘haunted’ by one another.

An Exercise in Exorcism was a performance in three parts executed whilst listening to three episodes of ‘Veritas Maat sees thru the veil’ – a youtube channel made by spiritual entrepreneur, Netoya – which introduces the different Guyanese Jumbies. The jumbie is a Caribbean colloquial for ghost and is representative of reconfiguring narratives of the past within the present. Originally a solo performance, An Exercise in Exorcism has been re-conceived for three dancers to be performed in the neo-classical main hall of the former Royal Exchange in GoMA, illuminating the building as another haunted site of this complex history Harris is exploring.

An Exercise in Exorcism was supported by Glasgow City Heritage Trust and Art Fund’s Respond and Reimagine Fund.

It is dream to be working with two inspiring dancers and collaborators  in the main gallery space in GoMA to explore our Caribbean heritage through movement. The work we are doing together centres on finding joy in movement and allowing the kinaesthetics ghosts and personal histories in our bodies to reveal themselves and begin a conversation with the complex and often painful colonial legacies present in this opulent gallery space. 

Ashanti Harris, November 2021

Performed by Ashanti Harris, Jessica Paris and KJ Clarke-Davis
Lighting and technical support from Michaella Fee
With special thanks to Netoya of Veritas Maat sees thru the veil youtube channel.
Photo credit Isobel Lutz Smith

Scottish Art News

Ashanti Harris is a multi-disciplinary artist and researcher based in Glasgow. Working with dance, performance, facilitation, film, installation and writing, Ashanti’s work disrupts historical narratives and reimagines them from a Caribbean diasporic perspective. As part of her creative practice, she is co-director of the dance company Project X – platforming dance of the African and Caribbean diaspora in Scotland; and works collaboratively as part of the collective Glasgow Open Dance School (G.O.D.S) – facilitating experimental movement workshops and research groups. She is also lecturer in Contemporary Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and co-facilitates the British Art Network research group The Re-Action of Black Performance.

Recent commissions and exhibitions include: JUMBIES, Glasgow International, Glasgow (2021); This Woman’s Work, Third Horizon Film Festival, Miami (2021); Radio Space, Borealis Festival, Bergen (2021); Miraculous Noise, Viborg Kunsthal, Viborg (2021); OHCE, Radiophrenia, 87.9fm (2020); Being Present, OGR, Torino (2020); In The Open, The Common Guild, Glasgow (2020); The Index Impulse, Alchemy Film Festival, Hawick (2020); Pre-Ramble, David Dale, Glasgow (2020); The Skeleton of a Name, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2019); Second Site, Civic Room, Glasgow (2019); Walking Through the Shadows Eyes Open, SUBSOLO Laboratório de Arte, Sao Paolo, (2019)

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