The Minimum by Mandy El-Sayegh A performance co-commissioned by London Gallery Weekend and UP Projects
Register here to attend ‘The Minimum’ by Mandy El-Sayegh
London Gallery Weekend is an annual public event celebrating art galleries across London, to curate a public performative art commission taking place on 13, 14 and 15 May 2022.
Happening in three public locations across London Gallery Weekend, the performance will expand the visibility of London's galleries and their artists bringing art out of the gallery context and into public spaces across the capital. UP Projects convened a panel of industry experts to select from a shortlist of three artists nominated by participating galleries following which Mandy El-Sayegh was selected for her proposal The Minimum.
Mandy El-Sayegh - whose paintings, immersive installations, performances and videos are rooted in an exploration of material and language - is working in collaboration with choreographer Alethia Antonia and composer Lily Oakes to present this work. The Minimum is centred around an installation and performance that invites people in different public locations across the city to consider how bodies make themselves visible within the framework of certain restrictions.
Exploring bodies in regulated spaces, The Minimum is staged upon a painted installation roughly the size of a solitary confinement cell. Also known as segregated housing, such cells are used to maximise the security of a community while minimising the autonomy of the subjects they hold. Far from neutral spaces, they are grounds that oppress sensory stimulation, extracting dignity from illicit bodies. For El-Sayegh, the modality between maximum and minimum becomes a space through which the vulnerable body can articulate itself.
Locations, timing and ticketing
The performance will take place three times during London Gallery Weekend across the different focal areas, Central London, South London and East London.
Performance 1 | Friday 13 May, 16:00 – 16:30 BST | St James's Church Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL | Nearest Underground: Piccadilly Circus and Green Park
Performance 2 | Saturday 14 May, 14:00 – 14:30 BST | Peckham Library Square, London SE15 5JT | Nearest Overground / Rail: Peckham Rye Station
Performance 3 | Sunday 15 May, 14:00 – 14:30 BST | Allen Gardens, London E1 5AT | Nearest Overground: Shoreditch High Street
Please note all three locations are wheel chair accessible. London Gallery Weekend and UP Projects would like to encourage people to consider the environment when choosing how to attend this event. For this reason we have noted the nearest public transport links to each location.
About the Selection Panel
El-Sayegh was selected by a panel of industry experts: Jo Baxendale (Senior Policy Officer Visual Arts and Public Realm, Greater London Authority), Bengi Ünsal (Director, Institute of Contemporary Arts), Dr. Zoé Whitley (Director, Chisenhale Gallery), Emma Underhill (Founding Director, UP Projects) and Moira Lascelles (Deputy Director, UP Projects). Shortlisted artists were asked to consider creating a performance piece that would be accessible to a broad public audience, consider environmental impact and encourage community participation.
"This exciting new co-commission by London Gallery Weekend and UP Projects is an unparalleled opportunity to experience a visceral, site-specific performance in three public locations in London by Mandy El-Sayegh, one of the most exciting young artists working today. Fusing her painting, installation and performance practices, Mandy's work addresses urgent topics of our time, exploring that terrain personally and geopolitically in a way that is deeply affecting, and relevant to a broad audience." – Bengi Ünsal, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts
About Mandy El-Sayegh
Mandy El-Sayegh (b.1985) lives and works in London, where she received a BA in Fine Art from the University of Westminster in 2007, followed by an MA in painting from the Royal College of Art in 2009. She is currently featured in The British Art Show, the largest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK. Her first solo institutional show, the specially commissioned installation Cite Your Sources, was held at London’s Chisenhale Gallery in 2019. Other solo exhibitions of El-Sayegh’s work have been organised at UTA Artist Space, Los Angeles, US (forthcoming); Thaddaeus Ropac gallery, Paris, France (2021); Lehmann Maupin, Seoul, South Korea (2021); Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon (2019); Bétonsalon, Paris, France (2019); Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong (2019); and The Mistake Room, Guadalajara, Mexico (2018). Her performances have been showcased at UTA Artist Space, Los Angeles, US (forthcoming); Frieze LIVE, London, UK (2020); and Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China (2017-18).
About Alethia Antonia
Alethia Antonia is a UK-based freelance choreographer, performer, teacher and researcher who has worked internationally. She trained at London Contemporary Dance School, Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance and Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Her choreographic work has been commissioned, supported by and performed at institutions such as The Place, Sadlers Wells, Phoenix Dance Theatre Dance4, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Yorkshire Dance, Fashion Space Gallery, DanceEast, and UTA Artist Space. Alethia also works as a performer with companies such as Russell Maliphant Dance Company, Scottish Dance Theatre, and James Cousins Company amongst others, and teaches for various dance conservatoires, CAT schemes, and professional companies around the UK.
She also is currently a Work Place Artist at The Place and a part-time PhD researcher at De Monfort University, with a Midlands4Cities scholarship, researching self-authoring feminine blackness with contemporary dance practice.
About Lily Oakes
Lily Oakes is a multi-faceted international artist based in London, LA and Paris. Signed to IMG talent, ICM as a composer and ITB for booking, Lily is also a creative mentor to other artists and works with some of the music industry's foremost composers and producers.
With artifice devalued, pure, raw emotion is characteristic of her work. Using classical production techniques alongside influences in many areas of music, animation and film scores, there is an emptiness of space integral to the minimalism of the work. Uncovering a 'real' is fundamental to this process.
Lily produces and ghost writes for other artists, fashion brands, documentary film, television and fine artists, including Pinterest, Nike, and Nowness. For 2021, a song of hers was the musical opening for a new international Studio Canal TV series, "Shadowplay" (2021). Lily has also recently co- composed the score and acted in the film 'Victims', directed by Agnieska Lukasiak and award winning DOP, Antony Dod Mantle.
About London Gallery Weekend
London Gallery Weekend is the world’s largest event of its kind and unique among global gallery weekend events in the breadth and diversity of its participating galleries. The event takes place over three days, each focusing on a different area of London. Free for all to attend, it provides an opportunity to discover and explore London’s world-class gallery scene, celebrating the city’s diverse cultural and creative communities. An extensive programme scheduled by galleries specially for the weekend includes talks, family workshops and special events, with extended opening hours. New partners for the 2022 edition include UP Projects and Art Fund, to fund visits by curators from regional art institutions across the UK.
This year’s edition of London Gallery Weekend will exceptionally take place in May due to the Queen's Jubilee in June.