The Grey Space in the Middle


The title of the exhibition “The Grey Space in the Middle”, is borrowed from a statement made by David Bowie, which he used to define how people add their own interpretation to Dada’s work. This interpretation of existing stories by inclusion and exclusion of new stories based on our past experiences and encounters with things form the bases of this new series of mixed media painting works presented in this exhibition by Ernest Kankam. The exhibition tends to look at how a piece of information (whether in a form of photographs, music, or news) consumed can trigger certain experiences from our subconscious mind and how these experiences can mediate our interpretation of that information. With the attitude and interest in taking random photographs of people, he meets in their day-to-day activities, which triggers experiences the artist Kankam has encountered, the works in the exhibition offer second-hand information by the artist with the technique of collage both within the virtual space technological software like Photoshop and physical space use of mundane materials like a mosquito net, thread for sewing, stiff and pieces of colored fabric.


The composition within the paintings is worked on both sides of the surface material first by printing it digitally on “Kaliko” fabric and later using other techniques like quilting in sewing, acrylic painting, and fabric collage. The composition at both ends of the painting reflects each other and it behaves like a stain of obscured events and experiences within each other. The ‘two sides of the same coin’ mixed media painting are presented in a structural format to offer a sculptural experience of the painting of the works in the exhibition space. This mode of exhibition tends to continue the past gestures of the 1960’s minimalist quest to subvert the modernist way of pictorial experience of a painting by bringing the painting within the same space of the body present in the exhibition. Here it’s not just about the disembodied eye but rather the whole body reacting with the painting.
“The Grey Space in the Middle” presents and invites the audience to an open-ended interpretation of the pieces of information provided through these mixed media works in the exhibition.

Text by Abbey IT-A

"The Grey Space in the Middle" art exhibition by Ernest Kankam short Video clip