Exhibition: The Life Cycle of Rainbows
The Life Cycle of Rainbows
Private view: September 18th. 7pm- 10pm.
The Life Cycle of Rainbows is a film and installation exhibition by India Sky inspired by the BaKongo Cosmogram’s influence and permutations within Afro-Diasporic music and dance traditions, particularly underground disco, house, and ballroom culture. Within BaKongo cosmology, the cosmogram provides a map of the principle shape of the Universe as well as the trajectory of the soul as it cycles through Birth, Maturity, Death and the Ancestral world. Both the film and installation utilize the BaKongo Cosmogram as a structural device, weaving a universe of sound, nature, sculpture, elaborate costumery, dance and storytelling in which cycles of life, death, becoming and rebirth are expressed through a Black, femme and queer lense.
The soundscape of the film, composed by India Sky, features several mixes by the legendary DJ Larry Levan of the Paradise Garage as well as India’s original music. Based on India Sky’s research that traces the influence of the BaKongo Cosmogram in disco and the work of Larry Levan, India positions the sonic, spatial, dance and aesthetic elements of disco as a cosmogram reborn. Additionally, the final song of the film, a house track which sets the score of the Ancestral World, is composed by LA based DJ and producer Kumi James (BAE BAE).
The film was created over an intensive 7 week residency and shot throughout several locations across Scotland’s Western Lowlands. Featuring 13 performers including India Sky, it provides a vibrant prismatic view of Afro Diasporic dance legacies including house, whacking, locking, krump, congolese, vogue and improvisation. The archival footage present in the film and installation highlight key elements of the birth and evolution of the disco era including; David Mancuso’s infamous Loft parties, Larry Levan at Paradise Garage, Gwen Guthrie performing at the Garage’s last night, disco legends Sylvester and Donna Summer, Soul Train, voguers on the Christopher Street Pier in NYC, and Pepper Labeija at the Kansai John Moschino ball. The coalescence of legacy, presence and place in The Life Cycle of Rainbows shines a polychromatic light on the living connection between the ancestral and physical worlds and the manifold cycles we move through in space and time.
The Life Cycle of Rainbows
Created and Directed by India Sky
Omar Jordan Phillips
Kemono L. Riot
Director of Photography:
*Additional filming by India Sky and Jen Martin
Madeleine Virginia Brown
Heartbeat – Taana Gardner, Larry Levan mix
Begin – India Sky
Seventh Heaven – Gwen Guthrie, Larry Levan mix
Let’s go Dancin’- Sparque, Larry Levan mix
Palaces of Pleasure – India Sky
Dark Symphony – India Sky
Ancestral World – Kumi James (BAE BAE)
As part of this exhibition the gallery space is painted black and the space features low lighting. There are three large projection screens in which the film is played. The soundtrack to the film is played via speakers at a medium level volume, if visitors wish for the sound to be reduced we are more than happy to accommodate this and you can speak to the invigilator upon arrival or alternatively send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org beforehand. The exhibition also includes sculptures and a large text vinyl on the wall, these elements are lit with spotlights. The film is half an hour in duration and plays on loop. There is seating in the gallery in the form of square plinths. If you require seating with backs we have foldable chairs that can be set out to accommodate you further. Any additional questions please do not hesitate to be in touch.
Due to an error, two of the performers, Alexis White and Kendra Chiagoro-Noel are not credited in the physical hand outs. EMBASSY apologises for this.
September 19th-October 17th.
12pm -6pm. Friday to Sunday.
EMBASSY Gallery, 10B Broughton Street Lane, Edinburgh, EH1 3LY