Helen Cammock: I Will Keep My SoulAn exhibition of film, poetry, performance, archival documents and books
October 14 – December 17, 2023
British artist Helen Cammock arrived in New Orleans for the first time in January 2022 as part of a residency with the Rivers Institute for Contemporary Art & Thought and the Amistad Research Center. This exhibition of film, poetry, performance, archival documents, and books gathers encounters and observations, figured in text and image, of her experiences in the city—it is a gathering on gathering, on the indissociable relationship between art, politics, and the power of assembly.
Through a polyphony of contemporary and historical voices—from archivists, artists, writers, and musicians to the protagonists of the civil rights movement, both seen and unseen—Cammock invites both rhyme and dissonance. To these voices she adds her own poetry—and the sound of her trumpet—an instrument she began practicing in New Orleans.
I Will Keep My Soul is is accompanied by the eponymous artist’s book co-imprinted by Rivers Institute for Contemporary Art & Thought, the California African American Museum, and siglio (March 2023). A previous and different iteration of the exhibition took place at Art + Practice in collaboration with the the California African American Museum in Los Angeles earlier in 2023.
Curated by Andrea Andersson and Jordan Amirkhani of the Rivers Institute of Contemporary Art & Thought and presented by the University of New Orleans’s St. Claude Gallery.
I Will Keep My Soul
Essays by Jordan Amirkhani and Andrea Andersson, a score by Roshanak Kheshti, story by Kristina Kay Robinson, afterword by Cameron Shaw, with excerpts from an interview by Courtney J. Martin
About to Happen
Essays by Andrea Andersson, Lucy Lippard and Macarena Gómez-Barris and an interview by Julia Bryan-Wilson
✼ the improbable:
from Issue, No. 1 (Time Indefinite), “Dick Higgins, Publisher: Notes Toward a Reassessment of the Something Else Press Within a Small Press History” by Matvei Yankelevich: “To find connections between poetry, small press publishing, and the art scene of the early 1960s, one may look no further than Higgins’ own network.”[...]