NATIVITY by Rosa-Johan Uddoh

Thursday 7 December, 3pm and 7pm
Fellows’ Drawing Room,
Murray Edwards College,
University of Cambridge
Pay what you can. Book here.

The Women’s Art Collection is delighted to present NATIVITY, a performance by Rosa-Johan Uddoh that offers a history of Black performance in the West, through a parody of the traditional Christian nativity play. This short epic tale focuses on the Black character of ‘Balthazar’, one of the three Kings who visited the baby Jesus at his birth and who became a vital part of one of the most popular motifs in Western art history.

The script, written by the artist, takes a pantomime like approach and is inspired by the artist’s archival research into Black presences in Europe, as well as personal experiences of being asked to perform ‘blackness’ in both theatrical and everyday settings for a white gaze.

With the generous support of the Art Fund and in collaboration with Performance Exchange, where the performance premiered in 2022, NATIVITY will be acquired for The Women’s Art Collection, marking the first time a performance has entered the Collection.

Rosa-Johan Uddoh (b.1993, Croydon) is an interdisciplinary artist inspired by Black feminist practice and writing. She is an emerging artist with an already impressive set of accolades. She was shortlisted for the Jarman Award 2022 for her film making practice and was a finalist for Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2021. Rosa was the Liverpool Biennial and John Moores University Fellow 2018-2019 as well as the Stuart Hall Library Resident for 2020. Her work has been profiled in publications including Art Monthly, New York Times and Nordic Art Review. Her first book, Practice Makes Perfect, was published by Book Works and Focal Point Gallery in 2022.

She is currently a lecturer in Performance at Central Saint Martins. Through performance, writing, film and multi-media installation, Rosa explores places, objects and celebrities in British popular culture. Collaboration is key to Rosa’s work, often working together with children, activists and other artists to share knowledge and explore themes that impact our communities. Using humour, parody and collaboration, she appropriates popular media formats to critically engage people often excluded from Art.

NATIVITY by Rosa-Johan Uddoh; ; 2023; Artist: Rosa-Johan Uddoh; | Publisher: Book Works and Focal Point Gallery: | Designer: Rose Nordin