08 Feb 2024 - 16 Mar 2024

Let’s go on singing!

Goodman Gallery


Let’s go on singing! marks the first solo exhibition with the gallery for British Franco-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira, as well as marking the artist’s first London show since her commended 2009 INIVA exhibition.

The exhibition coincides with Sedira’s highly anticipated solo at the Whitechapel Gallery where the artist will present the UK debut of her ground-breaking project and film Dreams Have No Titles, originally conceived for the French Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. Following the Whitechapel Gallery, the work will tour to Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi in October 2024. Let’s go on singing! presents new and existing work in which Sedira expands on her exploration of cinema as a tool for joyful resistance and draws on the archive as a device to expose, reconsider and challenge history.

Born in France to Algerian parents, before relocating to London in the mid 1980s, Sedira’s practice has been significantly shaped by her personal experience and multi-hyphenated identity. Key areas of investigation in her practice centre around location, materials and migration; deploying the archive as a primary tool with which to expose persisting struggles of a fading past and to question readily accepted narratives.

In recent years, Sedira’s practice has focused on the concept of radical cinema, offering a British-Franco-Algerian perspective on resistance, migrant identity and African history. Included in the exhibition is the UK premiere of mise-en scène (2019), an eightminute film in which the artist seeks to expose the relationship between cinema, collective memory and anticolonial activism in Algeria. The film is made up of spliced footage, directly referencing the experimental filmmaking and structural films of 1960s Algeria which staunchly opposed cinematic convention and explored non-narrative forms. At times, the footage suggests traces of time as a result of a deterioration in the film’s chemical composition, creating abstract, rhythmic patterns with granular textures.

For A Brief Moment the Whole World Was on Fire… and We Have Come Back (2019) also makes its UK debut, following its inclusion in the artist’s acclaimed 2019 mid-career survey at Jeu De Paume, Paris. A series of eight colourful photomontages featuring archival media incorporating; printed ephemera, vinyl records and memorabilia highlights the Pan-African Festival and further encapsulates the inspiration of the Algerian nation at the spearhead of independence movements in Africa.

A new series of light boxes are presented alongside, in which Sedira highlights sentences sourced from so-called “third world” militant texts to transform them into militant slogans. Sedira illuminates these captions in works which make reference to iconic Hollywood billboard signs, with each collated quote further spotlit in lights by surrounding individual bulbs.

Finally, a new installation Headlines (2023) continues the artist’s exploration of captions, sourced from 1969 Algerian newspapers. The seven lightboxes which compose this work highlight headlines which capture a way of speaking that was prevalent in the 1960s. The slogans exemplify the feeling of connection, brotherhood and sisterhood that support the alliances of this period.

Press release from Goodman Gallery

Image: Zineb Sedira. For a Brief Moment the World Was on Fire… and We Have Come Back. 2019. Eight photomontages on diasec, various objects, books, DVD and vinyl records, painted yellow wall. Image courtesy of Goodman Gallery