The classic ‘white cube’ gets a radical rethink at Gabriel Moses’s debut exhibition, Regina, at 180 The Strand in London this April.
Moses is known for his work with musicians Skepta, Little Simz and Pa Salieu. For Regina, the London-based photographer and filmmaker brings 50 of his photographs, spanning music, fashion and sports, to the confines of the brutalist building as well as the premiere of two new short films, including Ijó – commissioned by 180 Studios, that follows a group of young ballet dancers in Lagos, Nigeria.
Instead of mounting the figurative works in a classic ‘white cube’ set-up, the brutalist shell is daubed in black, with raw surfaces, hard floors, low lighting and music drifting through the deepest recesses of the space. Religious iconography intersperses the imagery, and walking through the atmospheric space is akin to entering a feeling – amplified by screens showing Ijó, Moses’ film documenting the Leap of Dance Academy in western Lagos, and the show’s titular work Regina, features a cast of his friends.
‘Regina, it’s essentially my mind in the film – it’s the things I see as beautiful,’ Moses explains. ‘It’s moments I kind of wanted to put on the screen. I wanted to tell an international story, I wanted people to be able to relate to it and see themselves within my work.’
Moses was the youngest photographer to shoot the cover of Dazed and got his first directorial role with Nike, aged just 18. Entirely self-taught, his refined aesthetic is inspired heavily by his South London roots and Nigerian heritage. His transcendental portraiture draws on traditions around black-and-white ancestral photography, identity and community and is influenced by images produced by artists such as Gordon Parks and Malick Sidibé.
On the expansive works, he adds: ‘I don’t necessarily see things like, project by project. It’s almost like I’m always thinking about the body of work. How will someone in 50 years, 100 years look at the work? My belief has always been that the story of your life is written before you’re in the womb.’
‘Gabriel Moses: Regina’ is at 180 The Strand until April 30, 2023. Tickets are available at the website