Please note that this exhibition contains films with sequences in which white actors apply, and appear in, racist ‘brownface’ and ‘yellowface’ makeup, including the use of prosthetics.
About the artist
Michelle Williams Gamaker is a Sri-Lankan British award-winning moving image artist. Since 2014, she has been developing Fictional Activism: the restoration of marginalised film stars of colour as central figures, who return in her works as brown protagonists to challenge the fictional injustices to which they have been historically consigned. By proposing critical alternatives to imperialist storytelling in British and Hollywood studio films, she interrogates cinema by sabotaging the casting process and utilising cinema’s tools against itself.
Williams Gamaker is joint winner of Film London’s Jarman Award (2020) and has an extensive national and international profile, including prestigious BFI London Film Festivals (2017, 2018 and 2021), Aesthetica Short Film Festival (winner of Best Experimental Film, 2021 and 2023) and Raindance (2022).
Recent group exhibitions include A Tall Order!, Rochdale Art Gallery (2023) and a major public commission Springfield Eternal in the atrium of Springfield Hospital for charity Hospital Rooms (2023), Like There is Hope and I Can Dream of Another World at Hauser & Wirth, Whitechapel’s The London Open 2022 and I Multiply Each Day, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland (2021),
Williams Gamaker’s major institutional solo exhibition, Our Mountains are Painted on Glass premiered Thieves (2023), her first film in Fictional Revenge. Thieves was co-commissioned by Film London, South London Gallery and Dundee Contemporary Arts. The show will tour to Bluecoat, Liverpool in 2024. Her work is in the Arts Council Collection, distributed by LUX and her entire filmography is part of the BFI National Film Archive. She is currently working toward a new body of work in Fictional Healing, which will complete her Critical Affection Trilogy.
Williams Gamaker is Reader in BA Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is currently a British Academy Wolfson Fellow. She is a Studio Artist at Gasworks, where she is also a trustee.
To listen to our Exhibition Notes, please click here.
A version of Thieves with audio descriptions produced by South London Gallery, is available on YouTube: this can also be watched in the Information Space at DCA.
An audio described introduction to the exhibition’s feature film Thieves produced by South London Gallery, is also available online on SoundCloud and on Bloomberg Connects.
Audio described introductions to the films The Bang Straws and The Eternal Return by visual describer Juliana Capes, are available on SoundCloud and Bloomberg Connects.
An audio description of DCA Galleries during Our Mountains are Painted on Glass by visual describer Juliana Capes is also available on SoundCloud and Bloomberg Connects.
To download Bloomberg Connects, please click here.