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9 Oct 2021

Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art

In response to Eugenio Dittborn’s exhibition Airmail Paintings, Unfolding brings together performances by artists working across multiple diasporas, from Hong Kong to Angola, India and Istanbul.

Folded up in envelopes and sent across the world, Dittborn’s Airmail Paintings were invented in order to escape the pressures of Chile’s military dictatorship. Just as his practice was a vehicle to confront violent histories, for these artists performance becomes a means to deal with political oppression, cultural dissonance and grief. Through intimate conversations, radical drag and living sculpture, they process traumas, queer national borders and tackle injustice. 

Istanbul Queer Art Collective, Januário Jano, Jasleen Kaur and ShumGhostJohn presented their performances across the gallery. 

Curated by Rita Aktay and Wan Yi Sandra Lam


Istanbul Queer Art Collective are a performance duo, founded by Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergul in 2012, currently based in London. Ranging from the spectacular to the intimate, their performances embody radical drag and explore the queer art of failure. They have previously performed at Framer Framed, 15th Istanbul Biennial, If Independent Film Festival, Athens Sound Acts Festival, Zürcher Theatre Spektakel, Deep Trash and Queen Migrant Takeover. 

Januário Jano (b.1979, Luanda-Angola) is a multidisciplinary artist working between Luanda, Lisbon and London. Drawing from the experiences of a person with multiple homes, his practice is informed by Ambundu culture and examines identity, mobility and displacement. With an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London, he has exhibited in Gallery Jean-Claude Maier (Frankfurt), Tree Art Museum (Beijing), Saatchi Gallery (London) and Departure (Lisbon). 

Jasleen Kaur (b.1986, Glasgow, Scotland) is an artist based in London. Working with sculpture, video and writing, she examines diasporic identity and hierarchies of history, both colonial and personal. Recent and upcoming commissions include Wellcome Collection, UP Projects, Glasgow Women’s Library, Market Gallery, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Eastside Projects and Hollybush Gardens.

ShumGhostJohn are a Hong Kong performance trio trained in language, ballet, computer science and biology. Since 2017, they have been exploring the post-colonial trauma of Hong Kong through storytelling and memory. Their first solo exhibition, Thousand Papers, took place in May 2021 with Fitzrovia Noir, Whitechapel Gallery, Poplar Union and Finborough Theatre. They have since performed at ImPulsTanz, The Place London and Genee.

Video archive:


Jasleen Kaur, Be Like Teflon (2019)


Januário Jano, Apokalypsis: Loveless Souls (2021)


Istanbul Queer Art Collective, Psychic Bibliophiles (2021)


ShumGhostJohn, Thousand Papers (2021)

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