An Exciting New Grace Jones Exhibition Is Coming to the UK

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Grace Jones Island Life 1985 album cover
Grace Jones, Island Life, 1985(Album cover)

Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio will take place at the Nottingham Contemporary this September, promising an exploration of the legendary musician through the lens of black image-making and gender binarism

Described as a “cross between fan-fiction, study, and biography”, a new exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary promises a fresh exploration of legendary musician Grace Jones and her enduring image. Titled Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio, it promises to move beyond her career and collaborations towards questions of “black image-making and gender binarism as well as both performance and the performance of life”.

“Departing from the observation that Grace Jones is not one but multiple, the exhibition Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio unfurls a range of Grace Joneses: from disco queen to dub cyborg; Jamaican to French; runway model to nightclub performer; black to white; feminine to masculine,” said a release from the gallery this morning.

“In embodying these seemingly opposite poles at once, Grace Jones entangles binary systems in style and in flesh. She both exemplifies and complicates theories of gender, sexuality, performance, race and cybernetics, discourses that flourished in parallel to her career.”

Curated by Cédric Fauq and Olivia Aherne, and running from 26 September this year – so long as coronavirus restrictions remain lifted in the city – Grace Before Jones will see contributions from artists and photographers including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe, Antonio Lopez, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and more, as well as materials from ACT UP and the Sigma Sound Studio Archives.

Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio runs from September 26, 2020 to January 3, 2021 at Nottingham Contemporary.