Night Café, a new art gallery founded by art historian and curator Maribelle Bierens will open with its inaugural exhibition, Fluidity this May.
Established with the intention of provoking conversation around the salient issues of our times through multidisciplinary exhibitions of work by emerging artists, Night Café will reactivate Parisian café culture in contemporary London. As a space for interdisciplinary connection, the gallery will consistently showcase mediums that are often underrepresented in the emerging art world while mobilising art as a provocative vehicle to activate conversation and disrupt convention.
Its inaugural exhibition, Fluidity seeks to challenge the notion of the self as a fixed entity, instead positioning the individual as subject to continuous transformation and redefinition. Through the work of five London-based emerging artists, the exhibition rejects the foundations on which the tower of contemporary capitalism was built: neo-liberal individualism. Through the works on show, we are faced with the complex, uncategorisable and multifaceted nature of identity manifested through painting, sculpture and installation.
Through a site-specific installation created from reclaimed bedsprings, queer artist Marc-Aurèle Debut creates a space for challenging normative assumptions around sexuality and intimacy. Fusing connotations of violence and sex, the tangled, twirling metal structures evoke fetishistic visions of erotic expression beyond the mainstream. The marriage bed is torn apart and in its place is a mess of desire. Central to Debut’s work is the multiplicity of the object; through recontextualisation, he highlights the impact of discursive structures and cultural backgrounds on our individualised perception.
Pushing into the territory of post-humanism, Johannes Bosisio explores the dialectical relationship between human and machine. Rejecting the false binary between the two, he addresses the reality of symbiotic exchange between the organic and the man-made that fuels contemporary society. Without venturing into the territory of the cyborg, Bosisio makes plain the earth’s newest ecosystem – the relationship between a worker and their laptop.
Saudi-American artist, Hawazin Alotaibi deconstructs contemporary Arab masculinity through hazy yet pointedly direct renderings of men amongst floral meadows of bright fuschia. At once humorously ironic and politically sharp, her works ignite poignant conversations around the expectations of masculinity within the rapidly changing cultural and political dynamics of the Arab world. By depicting only men, her work implies the position and cultural experience of women within this context via their conspicuous absence. She rejects a euro-centric reading of Arab culture, instead inviting a deeper understanding of the social, political and cultural context of gendered experience in the gulf region.
Hettie Inniss meanwhile, questions the stability of identity as constructed through memory and experience. She foregrounds fallibility, using memories’ inability to accurately represent reality as a tool through which to destabilise identity. Drawing on her experience as a person of dual heritage, she incarnates spaces for multiplicity – paintings which read as distant sites or lost recollection, difficult to understand, consistently irreducible yet instantly evocative.
Through her multidisciplinary sculptures formed from collaged arrangements of cultural material, Theresa Weber likens the constant process of reinvention that occurs within creolisation to chaos theory. In her work, symbols signify pillars of identity – femininity, cultural experience, class and race – and are fused together in unusual amalgams that appear as both votive objects and discarded paraphernalia.
The Night Café’s debut exhibition Fluidity reads as an ode to multifariousness and crystallises the many ways in which the ‘self’ defined through identification with binary categories is becoming increasingly irrelevant to human experience. In each work, the notion of a fixed identity is obliterated in place of fragility, complexity and irreducibility. The ‘self’ is thankfully no longer a discernible fact, and is instead the product of a process of negotiation that weaves its way around a maze of binaries.
Night Café presents its inaugural exhibition Fluidity, featuring Marc-Aurèle Debut, Hawazin Alotaibi, Hettie Inniss, Theresa Weber, Opening Reception | 12th May 2023 | 6-9pm, Exhibition | 13 May – 17 June 2023, Night Café, 162 New Cavendish Street W1W 6YS
Opening in May 2023, Night Café is a new and dynamic art gallery for emerging art in Fitzrovia. Fostering a unique cafe culture, the gallery provides a space for original thinking and for artists to connect and collaborate across different disciplines. Drawing inspiration from the rich cultural history of Parisian cafes, which were gathering places for artists across different disciplines, thinkers, collectors, and other creative minds, Night Cafe fosters a unique café culture by its concept-driven and multidisciplinary exhibition program.
The gallery is founded by art historian and curator Maribelle Bierens. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2020, she has been running where’s the frame?, a curatorial and editorial project that supports recently graduated, London-based artists. Now opening a permanent gallery space with the same artist-first approach, she will continue to commit to supporting the newest generation of artists entering the London art scene.