Written by

Where's the frame

Maribelle Bierens

May 11, 2023 2:44 PM


‍Night Café, a new and exciting emerging art gallery, is set to open its doors in the heart of Fitzrovia this week, opening with an exhibition on the concept of ‘Fluidity’ in unexpected ways. 

Fostering café culture, the new gallery pays homage to the Parisian cafés from the previous century. It’s going to be a space where artists across different disciplines come together with writers, curators, philosophers, and collectors to share ideas and critiques and collaborate. Showcasing mediums that are often underrepresented in the emerging art world, Night Café will curate conceptually driven exhibitions that actively participate in the pertinent conversations of our time. 

Left: Hettie Inniss, Gobbo Loves Ginger Soda, 2023. Oil on canvas. 100 x 120 cm. Right: Marc-Aurèle Debut, Site specific sculpture, Used bed and sofa springs, metal wire.

The gallery is founded by the same person who runs where’s the frame (and the writer of this article): art historian and curator Maribelle Bierens. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2020, she has been running this platform, where’s the frame?. Having the same artist-first approach, Night Café will be a new venture: a permanent gallery space that supports a new generation of artists. 

The multidisciplinary inaugural exhibition Fluidity will present paintings, an installation and sculptures by five London-based artists. The works in the exhibition suggest that our sense of self is not fixed or predetermined but rather is subject to ongoing transformation and redefinition. In a post-structural sense, the artists in the exhibition explore the discursive and cultural contexts that shape our understanding of identity to imagine and enact new possibilities for less restricted ways of being, a more fluid space with room for complexities. To further delve into the concept of fluidity in identity and its relevance in our contemporary world, an essay by Lisa Modiano has been commissioned to accompany the exhibition.

Left: Hawazin Alotaibi, Roleks, 2022. Experimental printing and Acrylic on canvas, 70 x 85 cm. Right: Theresa Weber, Sun of Consciousness, 2023. Acrylic paste, foam clay, acrylic, fake nails, print on wood, 160x200 cm.

Hawazin Alotaibi is a Saudi-American interdisciplinary artist exploring gender, masculinity, and self-representation amidst the rapidly changing cultural and political dynamics of the Arab world. Her work involves motion glitches and distortions applied to her paintings that are based on photos and collected imagery from social media and cultural books. By challenging normative assumptions around gender and identity, Hawazin highlights the fluid and complex nature of meaning and representation in the region, inviting viewers to consider the broader social, political, and cultural changes that shape our understanding of identity.

Johannes Bosisio is a multidisciplinary artist whose work revolves around the relations between humans and machines and the effect technology has on us, and vice versa. 

Moving beyond a binary way of thinking, Johannes sees the relationship between humans and machines as dialectical. His approach involves the idea of that two opposing ideas are combined to form a new and more complex understanding, a process of constant change and evolution. By continually looking to transgress dualisms, Johannes emphasises the fluidity and unfixed nature of being. 

Left: Hettie Inniss, Waiting Patiently By The Window Sill, 2023. Oil on canvas. 61 x 76 cm. Right: Theresa Weber, Maze, 2023. Resin, stones, glass, acrylic, sand, 3d and 2d prints, synthetic hair, metal rings, pearls, fabric net, silicone, fake nails, 100 x 150 cm.

In a site-specific installation made for the exhibition, Marc-Aurèle Debut challenges normative assumptions around sexuality and intimacy. Using used bedsprings as a medium, which are charged with emotional and bodily significance, he invites viewers to reflect on the nature of memory, trauma, and identity and how they shape our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Marc-Aurèle highlights the ways in which objects can be imbued with multiple meanings and associations, emphasizing the discursive and cultural contexts that shape our understanding of identity.

In her paintings, Hettie Inniss works around the complexities of memory and identity. By questioning the constructability and reliability of memories, she sheds light on the ways in which memory influences how we see ourselves and each other. Through her use of memory as a tool to navigate these complexities, Hettie opens up a space that counters binary ways of thinking about identity. In her work, there is an intentional allowance for a less restricted state of mind that can unconceal new ways of thinking about identity. By rejecting the binary ways of thinking that have influenced her experience as a person of dual heritage, Hettie opens up new possibilities for understanding the complexities of identity.

Left: Hettie Inniss, Maroon Memory, 2023. 50 x 60cm. Oil on canvas. Right: Johannes Bosisio, Micro Series, 2022. Oil and Resin on Panel, 29.4 x 29.7 x 3 cm.

Theresa Weber’s multidisciplinary sculptural work delves into critical examinations of race and class while exploring the fluidity and complexity of identity. Often using collaged arrangements of cultural material, she examines cultural embodiment and femininity, highlighting the constant process of reinvention that occurs within creolisation and drawing connections to chaos theory. By creating traces that are intuitive, fragile, and ambivalent, Theresa seeks to challenge binary ways of thinking and promote radical pluralism. 

Night Café invites you to join us for the opening reception on May 12,  from 6-9 pm at 162 New Cavendish Street. For more information visit their website here.

Suggested reading: