# 98 

Peer Sessions @ Chisenhale Gallery

Past - 2pm Sat 21st Jan 2023


Chisenhale Gallery, London E3


During Ayo Akingbade solo exhibition Show Me The World Mister (10 November 2022 - 5 February 2023) Peer Sessions and guest artist and filmaker and Chisenhale resident Edwin Mingard facilitated a Chisenhale Crit open to the public, discussing the work of two artists with the assembled group.


Michelle Siu presented a fascinating body of work-in-progress. A slideshow of intimate family photos captured over a number of years, showed a couple in their domestic environment, interspersed with video clips of them interacting - she gives him a haircut; he video-calls her from his workplace - a hospital during the covid pandemic. In due course a pregnancy and then a baby arrive. The discussion focussed on how the work managed to remain intimate without becoming sentimental or mawkish. The group identified the chronological nature of the slideshow and the ‘flat’ tone of the images as central to this interpretation. Aspects of the invisible labour of domestic work and mothering were also picked up from the work.


Zara Joan Millar shared three short films: Nov 30 Habib; untitled; Bojnurd. Each combined abstract imagery and/or sound, and viewed together they led to a rich and generative conversion. It centred on purposeful obfuscation as a device for keeping the work enimatic, and keeping any definitive interpretations at arms length - in doing so maintaining a poetic tension. The discussion also focused on hints the three films alluded to regarding the current political unrest in Iran, including snippets of Persian language, audio of a protest march (led by a woman) and found footage of a carpeted indoor prayer space.




More about the artists

Michelle Siu is a Chinese-Canadian photojournalist and documentary photographer starting a second career in cinematography in London, UK. For nearly a decade she has photographed for publications including the New York Times and has been nominated for Canada's Photojournalist of the Year. As a daughter of immigrant parents to Canada, her film and photo projects often centre around the theme of identity and girlhood. She is currently working on her first short fantasy screenplay.



Zara Joan Miller was born in Brighton, England and now lives in London. She is a writer, artist and filmmaker. Her first poetry collection, BLUE MONDAY was published by independent publisher JOAN in 2022.



Images: (from top)
Group discussion of Michelle Siu's To be Seen project
Individual photos from Michelle Siu's To be Seen project
Still image from slideshow of Michelle Siu's To be Seen project
Zara Joan Miller photo from projection of Nov 30 Habib
Group discussion of Zara Joan Miller's work

IMG_4462 webIMG_4458 webIMG_4456 webIMG_4466 web90250f54-9ee7-457b-a602-76c676a827cb web