at7 project space & Available & The Rat, Rotterdam
Ayo and Katrina Niebergal
'Unbound Anthologies' is the first collaboration between artist-run initiatives project space at7 and Available & The Rat, and is the beginning of something ongoing between the two. We invited Ayo and Katrina Niebergal, and during the months preceding the exhibition, an introduction and a familiarisation between the two happened.
Ayo and Niebergal’s works in the exhibition surface from their separate ongoing research practices. Ayo weaves text, music, image, sculpture, and video in her studio, creating new methods to excavate – a word borrowed from the artist – and re-tell diasporic stories across space and time. Katrina Niebergal dreams without fences. Beginning from a research project told through a fictional character, her work at this point embodies the intuition and joy of childhood making — a way to respond to spontaneous, as well as deeply engrained visions, poems and vignettes from an ongoing and lived story.
Together, the artists use the space to ask incomplete questions — presenting moments of intuitive object-making. The works present chapters in larger anthologies, characters of the past interacting with the present, and personal-historical weaves which invite us in and branch outside the exhibition space for the upcoming weeks.
at7 and Available & The Rat came together first on the grounds of available space, and continue to learn from each other as artists who work with artists — by learning from the artists we show. We began to think together about hosting, invitation, care of introduction, staying in touch, and the possibility of a collectively written manifesto. When we endeavoured to write collectively, what emerged was something different:
'there is support
for asking incomplete questions
people talking in a living room
with petals and leaves in the hair
on the airwave of an exploding balloon
they stay in touch'
—Excerpt from collaborative text by at7 & Available & The Rat in a writing workshop by artist Xenia Klein, October 2020