"This new commission consists of existing and new work, and comprises film, sculpture, text and performance – creating a multi-dimensional installation across the gallery spaces. Rooted in poetry, Lakhrissi’s practice seeks to challenge contemporary constructs of language and narratives around minoritised communities.
The exhibition takes the poem ‘Paradise Lost’, by 17th-century English poet John Milton, as a starting point to reflect upon the notion of ‘community’. In light of the disintegration of social cohesion brought on by current crises, from the Covid-19 pandemic to the growth of far-right populism, this new body of work reflects on what constitutes a community, particularly a queer community. It considers the notion of community as a complex entity: one that offers both the possibilities of love, empowerment and protection but also nightmares, traumas and fears. Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ is the anchor around which such tensions are played out – the possibility of a community that offers paradisiacal solace and yet, through its fragilities, can be easily lost.
The central installation becomes a battleground, a metaphor for notions of defence and of self-defence to help queer communities of colour fight back against today’s societal violence and, in so doing, becomes a symbol of love and transformative narratives.
'So in the midst of despair, I have come to believe that love – the feeling of love, the politics of love, the ethics and ideology and embodiment of love – is the only good option in this time of the apocalypse.'
Kai Cheng Thom - I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes from the End of the World"
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