Paul Maheke

Paul Maheke, Melika Ngombe Kolongo (Nkisi) & Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Sènsa, 2019. Performance: ASSEMBLE, Volksbühne, Berlin © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Frank Sperling

Paul Maheke, Melika Ngombe Kolongo (Nkisi) & Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Sènsa, 2019. Performance: ASSEMBLE, Volksbühne, Berlin © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Frank Sperling

Paul Maheke, Melika Ngombe Kolongo (Nkisi) & Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Sènsa, 2019. Performance: ASSEMBLE, Volksbühne, Berlin © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Frank Sperling

Paul Maheke, Melika Ngombe Kolongo (Nkisi) & Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Sènsa, 2019. Performance: ASSEMBLE, Volksbühne, Berlin © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Frank Sperling

Paul Maheke’s highly charged performances, drawings and installations investigate how the past informs the present. Although his art often emerges from scholarly research, it develops intuitively. He is interested in producing emotional, innate responses from his audience, too. Explaining that his work is ‘very much about what’s absent, what’s left untold, what’s left unseen,’ he engages with different ways of gaining knowledge and understanding of the world around us. His installation We took a sip from the devil’s cup (2020) features hand-blown glass lamps, a reference to amber – ‘a receptacle for history’ – and ghostly fabric ‘drawings’ inspired by tasseography, a divination practice that involves reading tea leaves or coffee grounds.

 

Paul Maheke‌ ‌(born‌ 1985, ‌Brive-la-Gaillarde,‌ ‌France)‌ ‌lives‌ ‌and‌ ‌works‌ ‌in‌ ‌London.‌ Maheke‌ ‌studied‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌É‌cole‌ ‌Estienne and É‌cole‌ ‌Nationale‌ ‌Supérieure‌ ‌d’Arts‌ ‌de‌ ‌Cergy,‌ both Paris, ‌France‌ ‌and‌ ‌Open‌ ‌School‌ ‌East,‌ ‌London.‌

Paul Maheke, Melika Ngombe Kolongo (Nkisi) & Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Sènsa, 2019. Performance: ASSEMBLE, Volksbühne, Berlin © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Frank Sperling

A ghost is a resilient figure that occupies several dimensions. It has an ability to make itself visible or not. For me, it is a useful figure to think through identity outside of ‘identity politics’.

– Paul Maheke

Paul Maheke, We took a sip from the devil’s cup, 2020 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Sultana, Paris. Photo: Ansis Starks

Paul Maheke, We took a sip from the devil’s cup, 2020 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Sultana, Paris. Photo: Ansis Starks
Paul Maheke, We took a sip from the devil’s cup, 2020. Installation view: Spectral Forest, NAC of Vilnius Academy of Arts within the framework of 4Cs © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Sultana, Paris. Photo: Ansis Starks

Presented in

Aberdeen





Paul Maheke, We took a sip from the devil’s cup, 2020. Installation view: Spectral Forest, NAC of Vilnius Academy of Arts within the framework of 4Cs © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Sultana, Paris. Photo: Ansis Starks