DESCENT is an exhibition in three parts beginning 13 November 2019 and concluding February 2020. It includes sculpture, performance, installation, video and archival material.
The structure of the exhibition presents an overarching narrative split across time and space, creating contextual shifts and associations between each constituent part.
DESCENT opened with I. People Come & Go, an installation based on an interior section of a neighbouring men-only cruise club, a matrix designed for gay men. Sahib produced a 1:1 replica of a tunnel feature found within the club, re-staging a parallel view outside of the space itself as a means of exploring ideas around exclusion, shame and death.
The second part of the exhibition, II. Cul-de-Sac extends Sahib’s framing of specific architectural structures to that of the residential street, with its organisation of houses, communities and lives. A new video shot with a drone on the street Sahib grew up in Southall, a suburb of West London, is shown with a collection of archival material belonging to the artist’s uncle that expands on the history of the area through an individual’s community work and activism.
DESCENT III. Man Dog, opens Saturday 15 February 2020. Man Dog is an object response to the earlier exhibitions and includes a new body of sculpture and installation.
Prem Sahib was born in London in 1982 and lives and works in London.
His work is included in the current exhibitions The Hoodie, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, BREATHLESS / SENZA RESPIRO, London Art Now, Ca’Pesaro Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna, Venice, Modern Nature, La Becque, La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland, Queer Abstraction, The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas, USA, touring from Des Moines Art Centre, Iowa, USA, (2019). Recent projects include a performance as part of Cruising Pompeii within Volcano Extravaganza 2019 – DEATH, curated by Milovan Farronato, Fiorucci Art Trust, Pompeii, Italy, and public commissions within Walk & Talk, The Azores, Portugal (2019).
Solo exhibitions and presentations include 500 Sq.Ft. as part of Art Night curated by Ralph Rugoff, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2018); Heron, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, Belgium, Balconies, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, (2017); Cruising the House, curated by Milovan Farronato, Inclusartiz Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, GRAND UNION, Grand Union, Birmingham, (2016); Side On, ICA, London, END UP, Southard Reid, London (2015); presentation of work and event within Forget Amnesia, Fiorucci Art Trust, Stromboli, Italy, Tongues, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai (2014); Night Flies, Southard Reid, London, Back Chat, Lorcan O’Neill Gallery, Rome (2013); Home From Home, Arts & Jobs curated by Sarah McCrory, London, FEEL UP in collaboration with Eddie Peake, Southard Reid, London, (2012).
Selected group exhibitions include United by AIDS : An Exhibition about Loss, Remembrance, Activism and Art in Response to HIV/AIDS, Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland, Queer Spaces: London 1980s - Today, Whitechapel Gallery, London, Machismo, Villa Lontana, Rome, Cruising Pavilion, 16th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Italy (2018); Markers, David Zwirner, London, ISelf Collection: Self-Portrait as the Billy Goat, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2017); CRUISING, Curated by Elise Lammer, SALTS, Birsfelden, Switzerland, Secret Surface, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany, Thinking Tantra, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, India (2016); Sensorium, Sunaparanta, Goa Centre for the Arts, India, fig-2 25/50 in collaboration with Celia Hempton and Cecilia Bengolea, ICA Studio, London, UK, Britain Can Make It, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2015); Burning Down The House, Gwangju Biennale, Korea, LISTENING, Hayward Touring Contemporary Open, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, UK, Do Not Disturb, At the Invitation of Elmgreen & Dragset, Gerhardsen Gerner, Oslo, Norway (2014).
Two works by Sahib, Do You Care? We do and Helix,were acquired by Tate Galleries in 2018. His work is also included in other public collections and private foundations including Government Art Collection, UK, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway, MONA, Tasmania, Australia, The Perimeter,Fiorucci Art Trust and DRAF, London.
Drone footage for Cul-de-Sac, 2019, shot by Joseph Harvey. Edit: Prem Sahib & Guillem Matallanas. Audio: Prem Sahib & Alexis Chan.
Special thanks to Xavier Llarch Font, Guillem Matallanas & Kamaljit Sahib.