Abbas Zahedi, Zhuo Mengting and Nisha Ramayya: Holding a Heart in Artifice

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To celebrate the final moments of Holding a Heart in Artifice, Abbas Zahedi invites poet Nisha Ramayya and artist Zhuo Mengting to activate the gallery space. Earlier this summer, Zahedi, Ramayya and Zhuo worked together at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios residency programme in Spoleto, developing new work from the Torre Bonomo. The group was formed because of their common interest in experimental sonics – whether through music, sound installations, poetry or performance.

Investigating notions of acoustic emptiness, resonance, chance and the threshold between sites and bodies, Zahedi and Zhuo will activate the architectures of the exhibition space using, among other instruments, synthesisers, transducers, and feedback-loops. Ramayya, meanwhile, shares new work including writing developed during the residency, currently titled Some Evenings and Holding a Key in the Tumult, which includes responses to the work of Zahedi and Zhuo.

This event is supported by Mahler & LeWitt Studios, a residency program making use of the former studios of Anna Mahler and Sol LeWitt in Spoleto, Italy.

About the event

Free. Limited Capacity.

Seating is available.


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This event is wheelchair accessible.

There are no audio descriptions for this event.

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Nisha Ramayya is a poet currently working on her second collection which has the working-title Now Let’s Take a Listening Walk. It hazards a musical journey through history, myth, and sci-fi. Her first collection of poetry, States of the Body Produced by Love (2019), is published by Ignota Books. Recent projects include a collaboration with sonic dramaturg MJ Harding, Under Ether, performed at Wysing Polyphonic 2021; a sequence of poems reflecting on Scotland’s colonial histories for CCA Annex, Glasgow; and an essay poem, drinking at the artificial wormhole, in response to the work of mathematician Fernando Zalamea, for Sonic Art Research Unit. Nisha is also the author of the pamphlets Notes on Sanskrit, Correspondences and In Me the Juncture, as well as Threads, co-authored with Sandeep Parmar and Bhanu Kapil. Her first full-length book, States of the Body Produced by Love, weaves essays, poetry and images together in a fierce meditation on diasporic identity, language and resistance. She grew up in Glasgow and now lives in London, lecturing in creative writing at Queen Mary, University of London.

Zhuo Mengting creates performances, participatory installations, and concerts investigating the capacities and limits of social relations. Presence and liveness is at the heart of her practice, both for the audience and the artist. Her ongoing project Sound and Resonance explores sonic language and the politics of listening through a series of happenings predominantly using “non-instruments” and the body. The most recent scores were developed for MAO Torino, Italy and Cafe OTO London, UK. As a performer and director, she has made work for theatres, galleries and other spaces, including a bar, a karaoke club, residential accommodation, and online. She studied Performance Making at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she is now based. Her work has been presented internationally, including in the UK, China, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Abbas Zahedi’s interdisciplinary practice blends contemporary philosophy, poetics and social dynamics with sound, sculpture and other gestures. With an emphasis on how personal and collective histories interweave, Zahedi’s interest lies within the connections found or formed around specific contexts. Before studying art, Zahedi trained as a medic and his work explores related themes to do with care and grief. His solo exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary, Holding A Heart in Artifice, is developed in collaboration with the local hospital and uses the gallery space and events program to give context to users experiences of life-support therapy. Zahedi’s recent exhibitions include: Metatopia 10013, Anonymous Gallery, New York (2022); She London Open 2022, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2022) and Postwar Modern, Barbican, London (2022). He has been the recipient of numerous awards including: the Frieze Artist Award (2022) and Artangel, Thinking Time (2020).

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