Carry My Not Knowing - An Exhibition by Raymond Pinto


To conclude his residency, Lagos Biennial artist Raymond Pinto hosted Carry My Not Knowing, an exhibition, interactive workshop, performance, `and screening at G.A.S. Lagos. 


The series began with an interactive movement workshop attended by various members of Lagos' cultural and creative community. During the session, guests had the opportunity to explore the interplay between tension, movement, and space with the artist acting as a guide. It was followed by Atunbi (Rebirth), a new performance developed by the artist during his residency. The following day, visitors were invited into the space yet again for screenings of two new films; The Pour and Carry My Not Knowing


Carry My Not Knowing is the artist's first solo exhibition, Pinto described the experience and opportunity to share his practice for the first time on the continent as "monumental" and "deeply meaningful". The residency was also an opportunity for him to complete crucial site-specific research ahead of his participation in the Lagos Biennial in 2024.⁠

The Movement Workshop


During the collaborative workshop, participants explored the sensory qualities of the fabric, co-creating soft sculptures that embody the energy and emotion of their interactions. 


Pinto's approach to movement and sculpture challenges conventional notions of art as a finished product, instead emphasizing the transformative and collaborative process of artistic creation. Situated on opposite ends of a piece of fabric, pairs of participants were invited to physically push, pull, and move with and against each other, engaging in a tactile and sensory experience that brought the soft sculpture to life.


Atunbi (Rebirth)


During the exhibition Raymond Pinto presented a new performance titled Atunbi, a word that translates to Rebirth. The concept is deeply rooted in Yoruba culture which subscribes to the concept of reincarnation. In the work Pinto alludes to his own art practice and his evolution and movement away from his classical background as he attempts to move towards a more culturally rooted practice. 

Pulsating music set the tone for a deeply emotive experience as the artist emerged from a woven bag. The white markings on Pinto's body evoke a sense of ritual and symbolism, reinforcing the concept of rebirth. The audience was invited on a journey of self-discovery and transformation, as the artist explored the evolution of his own practice, and his ongoing deviation from his classical roots.

The Pour


The Pour was screened during the second day of Carry My Not Knowing. In the work, Pinto invites us to grapple with a host of complex questions around the legacies of colonialism and the ongoing impact of trade on black bodies. Bathed in palm oil, a product of a massively successful cash crop in colonial and post-colonial Africa, Pinto's performance raises important questions about the relationship between movement and commercialization and the ways in which they have historically impacted black bodies.

As we watch Pinto stand before an eerie translucent backdrop, we are reminded of the ongoing effects of the colonial past and challenged to consider how we might reckon with this legacy in the present. What responsibility do we have to confront the uncomfortable truths of our past? Through his powerful performance, we are invited to engage in a process of reflection, inquiry, and, ultimately, action.

About Raymond Pinto


Raymond Pinto is a multidisciplinary performance artist whose work is centred on the African diaspora and sourced through queer and black archives. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Pinto studied dance and graduated from the Juilliard School in 2013, and holds a master's degree with a focus in Performance Studies from New York University.


He has worked with internationally touring dance companies, notable choreographers, and artists such as Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Gauthier Dance, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Bill T. Jones, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Shikeith, Kevin Beasley, among others

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