Brixton-based musician and artist, Gaika, will be exhibiting a month-long sound system culture installation in collaboration with Boiler Room, which will open on 1-26 August at Somerset House.
System is an audiovisual installation that aims to celebrate the thrill of Notting Hill Carnival while simultaneously challenging its negative media coverage, by telling stories that focus and revel in the cultural contributions of the Windrush generation. Curated archive material will be sourced from the local community, the BFI and the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton.
Gaika, who works from Somerset House Studios, says that the installation draws on his experience of being awed by Notting Hill Carnival and its connection to black London. “I’m a second generation Caribbean immigrant, I grew up waiting on that day in summer when every tube train would be filled with faces like mine, eyes locked in silent acknowledgement, all heading to the same destination with the same purpose,” he says.
“This time was ours to love each other amongst the concrete, brief emotional respite where we didn’t have to compute the grim reality of Thatcherite Britain as it was for black boys like me.”
The installation is designed to be an interactive musical experience and will feature a large scale, audiovisual sculpture at Somerset House into which visitors can interact with via a jack input, allowing one song to be shared per person which will be recorded and played as part of the archive.
System will also curate a Sound System Series every Thursday during the month of August featuring sound systems from new talent alongside original selectors. Gaika’s debut album Basic Volume is out on 27 July.
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