8 July – 11 September, 2022
White Cube is pleased to present ‘In jest’, an exhibition by Ilana Savdie. Her first solo show in London, it features new large-scale paintings and drawings which explore performance and excess as modes of dissent and resistance.
Expanding on the carnaval tradition of her native Colombia, a subject she has worked with in the past, in this group of paintings Savdie introduces theatrical themes relating to the circus through the repeating motifs of a curtain, a hoof, a ball, a hoop (sometimes becoming a hole or portal), and in the suggestion of stretching, hanging and reaching bodies. Savdie’s fascination with performance is focused on destabilising agents and excessive modes of behaviour, and her visceral, dream-scape paintings celebrate the jester, the trickster, the parasite, the witch and the clown. As Savdie describes it: ‘They are always protesting, always resisting, always questioning power, and they are doing it through a grotesque exaggeration of themselves, their bodies, their failure to be legible, their needs and desires, their oppression, their social norms, their language, it is a mockery of all of it. They mock binaries, especially the idea of good and evil.’