Tschabalala Self in London

We all do it, but what does it mean to sit?

October 05, 2022

large, colourful sculpture of a seated figure in a public plaza

Patinated bronze sculpture with stainless steel internal structure, hand-finished by the artist in oil paint.

At Avant Arte we want to put art where lots of people see it. Our first commission for a public work led Tschabalala Self to create her largest sculpture to date. A universal object and archetypal figure take centre stage. Subtle details, like chair legs that hover just clear of the ground, make the everyday transcendent. Placed close to King's Cross Station in London, the artist's serene bronze sitter will be met by thousands.

This figure represents all individuals, but women in particular, who understand the power and importance of simple gestures that assert their right to take up space.Tschabalala Self
close up of base of sculpture showing yellow boots and blue chair legs

Sculpture of a woman wearing yellow lipstick and a matching, wide-brimmed hat

Seated will remain on view at the northern end of Coal Drops Yard until early 2023. Before October 17, visitors can also discover the collaboration in full – including two films and a pair of editions – at a nearby pop-up.

The simple joy of sitting

London presents a new context for Self's ongoing explorations of body politics and everyday acts. With a focus on comfort and discomfort, nostalgia and speculation, filmmaker Olivia Lifungula posed a series of questions to members of the public. Where do you sit, when do you sit – and why?

mother and her two children, smiling in front of a projected artwork

Accompanying editions

Two editions conceived and created alongside Seated enshrine it as a pivotal moment for Self’s practice. A luminous silkscreen print revisits the original reference work, while an edition of patinated bronze sculptures echo the form of their larger namesake.

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large sculpture photographed at night from behind, looking up

pop up gallery space with a large, arched window

Seated was produced in collaboration with Factum Arte, an interdisciplinary studio located in Madrid.

Installation photography · Lucy Emms

The simple joy of sitting

Director, photographer · Olivia Lifungula
Cinematographer · Jan Solberg
Camera assistants · Joshua Dadson, William Watson
Gaffer · Hamish Nichols
Sound operator · Jermaine Monero
Photo assistant · Guillaume Mercier
Groomer · Laila Zakaria
Casting · Unit C
Editor · Josh Homer
Colourist · Nielsen Bohl
Sound mix · Giselle Hall

Cast, in order of appearance · Gemma Rolls-Bentley; Monèt Akinyemi; Elizabeth Grolle; Sianon Foster, Hugo Amoah and Tiger-Lily Amoah; Tash Miles; Martina Beckford; Sola Olulode and Shannon Bono; Chandini Wilson and Maureen Man; Charlie Wong; Kyrah Wilde and Leah Toussaint; Joseph Kirkendall.

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