Festival Commissions 2023
Six sung interludes of varying lengths, played through speakers installed along the Carriage Way in Deptford
7pm, Fri 22 Sep: Live performance of the work incorporating costume and gesture
dare/daré is a Shona word for the space and action of meeting. It is adapted for use in this work in order to unite various strands of the artist’s work and thinking. The work exists in two parts. Primarily as six sung interludes—weapon, heel-ashes, for you, river, borrow and naye—each installed by a bench near Deptford Station to create a vocal arch. In addition, close to sunset on the opening night of the festival, nyanju performs a live version of a short section of the interludes.
Navigating migration, culture and attempts at/reflections on adaptation—through the umbrella term Mutakura (the Shona word for what is carried…on a journey)—nyanju uses their voice to attempt a space of diasporic connection. Sung interludes, usually three line refrains of self-soothing response to interactions, time, place and mood become a practice shared with passers by in the hope of meeting somehow. Some of her words offer an acknowledgement to the ground upon which she performs—Deptford—and its changing landscape, migration of people, and their creative resilience. During the live performance an assemblage of objects; the artist’s adaptation of a ground harp/bow temporarily stage, frame and ground both the artist, the interludes and her practice.
Installed and performed on the Carriage Way by Deptford station, a place of transit, the work aims to connect with others at different points in their journeys, whether immediate or related to more expanded notions of migration and diaspora.
[From L-R when facing the Market Yard]
nyanju is a Zimbabwean artist based in London working under the umbrella term Mutakura; a Shona word translating as what is carried on a journey but also the name of a snack made of corn and ground nuts. For the artist it has become the concept that facilitates creative navigation of migration, culture and adaptation. So far nyanju’s practice has included conversational storytelling, sculpture, fabric print, collecting and writing, and sung interludes. Presently nyanju is interested in making dares—a Shona word for both the action and space of a meeting as a way to support the coalescence of various strands of their making, thinking and attempts at creating authentic and sustainable structures to operate in as an artist.
nyanju’s most recent public facing work was as part of the ‘Decriminalised Futures’ exhibition and publication at ICA London (curated by Elio Sea and Yves Sanglante in partnership with Arika), 2022. Prior to that she engaged in a number of collective projects including sorryyoufeeluncomfortable, fresh new anxieties and researchnet Bromley.
dare/daré is a Deptford X Commission