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a so-called archive, Onyeka Igwe

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Event description
LUX presents a solo exhibition by Onyeka Igwe, featuring the film of the same name, outdoor audio piece and ephemeral display.

About this event

With a forensic lens, Onyeka Igwe’s a so-called archive interrogates the decomposing repositories of Empire. Blending footage shot over 2020 in two separate colonial archive buildings—one in Lagos, Nigeria, and the other in Bristol, United Kingdom—this double portrait considers the ‘sonic shadows’ that colonial images continue to generate, despite the disintegration of their memory and their materials. Igwe’s film imagines what might have been ‘lost’ from these archives. It mixes the genres of the radio play, the corporate video tour, and detective noir, with a haunting and critical approach to the horror of discovery.

a so-called archive depicts the former vaults—along with their histories of hoarding, monetisation, documentation and now abandonment—as metonyms for the enduring entanglements between the UK and its former colonies. These sites were and continue to be home to purulent images that we cannot, will not, or choose not to see. -Mason Leaver Yap

Igwe’s first solo exhibition at LUX a so-called archive, includes the film of the same name, as well as an outdoor audio piece and ephemeral display in the library expanding on the archives interrogated in the film. A collective reading event will also take place on Saturday 16th October – details to be announced. Audio described and captioned screenings will take place daily.

This exhibition is part of this year’s Curatorial Fellowship programme this broken piece of yard by Cairo Clarke.

Onyeka Igwe is an artist and researcher working between cinema and installation. She is born and based in London, UK. Through her work, Onyeka is animated by the question — how do we live together? — with particular interest in the ways bodies, architecture and non-canonical ways of being and knowing can provide answers. She uses embodiment, voice, archives, narration and text to create structural ‘figure-of-eights’, a format that exposes a multiplicity of narratives. The work comprises untying strands and threads, anchored by a rhythmic editing style, as well as close attention to the dissonance, reflection and amplification that occurs between image and sound.

Screening Schedule

The runtime of a so-called archive is 20 minutes. The film will screen three times within a one-hour time slot. The first screening will be followed by audio described and captioned screenings. Booking is encouraged but you are welcome to walk in. Please check the screening schedule below. (OC: Open Caption, AD: Audio Description) 

12pm | 12.20pm (with OC) | 12.40pm (with AD)

1pm | 1.20pm (with OC) | 1.40pm (with AD)

2pm | 2.20pm (with OC) | 2.40pm (with AD)

3pm | 3.20pm (with OC) | 3.40pm (with AD)

4pm | 4.20pm (with OC) | 4.40pm (with AD)

Safety Information:

  • Booking is encouraged and the gallery operates under a strict capacity limit of 12 people.
  • All visitors and staff are asked to wear a face mask unless they are exempt from this requirement. We will have disposable masks available at the reception.
  • Scan the QR code via your NHS Test and Trace app upon arrival.
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided on the entry to the building.
  • Please adhere to social distancing to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.
  • Please stay home if you feel unwell.

If you have special access needs to attend our events please contact us at +44(0)20 3141 2960 or

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