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In The Comfort Of Embers

Solo Exhibition at Power Plant Toronto Canada, Curated by Josephine Denis.

In the comfort of embers presents video works, garments, and photography by artist Amartey Golding. Fire is a central motif in the featured video works. In these stories, building a fire and keeping it burning provides the narratives with their symbolic core by marking transformative moments for the main characters: the chain-mail wearer and the Being. These protagonists face personal reckonings as they prepare to live in the absurd world that awaits them. Our perspective is restricted by the few temporal indications and contained spaces in which the narratives unfold. This may spark an important realization among viewers: we cannot know what it feels like to sit with another’s embodied experiences unless we live them ourselves. Golding relays the extraordinary essence of each character with reverence–they create life, exist in otherworldly bodies, and go through profound transformations alongside the few companions with whom they share a kinship.

Time slows down and anticipation amplifies in Golding’s worlds to convey the critical point at which these stories begin and end for the viewers. We invite you to feel the weight of the Chainmail Garment 3 (Puffer Jacket) on display; to observe the interweaving of a multitude of Black hairstyles that cover the body of the Being; to engage with the dramatic poetry of the six photographs that give us another glimpse into the worlds depicted in Golding’s films. The works within In the comfort of embers are part of the fables and parables that the artist creates. These stories serve as metaphorical reminders to look inward and ensure that, as we fight oppressive systems and behaviors, we also self-reflect and make a concerted effort to neither internalize nor perpetuate the pervasive harm that is intrinsic to our societies. Golding explores African and Rastafarian protective and cultural practices in the narratives that populate his imagination because he believes in their ability to provide healing from generational traumas. At the same time, he invokes the inner child in his works, or what Toni Morrison believes to be “the first sentence of our childhood that we all remember, the phrase: ‘Once upon a time.’”

Photographs by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Feb 03 – May 14 2023

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