A still from Babeworld's 'Derby Day', 2022. Two people sit on the grass outside a wood cabin. The scene is shot on fuzzy, atmospheric film.
Somerset House Studios

Gallery 31: The Voices of A Tempest

Curated by A—Z

02 Dec 2022 - 19 Mar 2023
Daily 10.00 - 18.00
Closed on Sun 25 Dec
New Wing

A new exhibition for Somerset House Studios’ Gallery 31, programmed by exploratory producing platform A---Z (Anne Duffau), featuring works from Babeworld x utopian_realism, Michael & Chiyan Ho, and Tarek Lakhrissi.

In response to the research of poet and politician Aimé Césaire, in particular Une Tempête, his adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest as a critique of colonialism, the works in Gallery 31's The Voices of A Tempest take classic and cult genres - from sci-fi to slashers - as references to invoke fictional activism* through their storytelling.

Artist and poet Tarek Lakhrissi’s utopian short film Out of The Blue turns the sci-fi alien invasion trope on its head to empower the Queer community, where the minority becomes the new ruler of Earth. In Empty Orchestra, multi-disciplinary duo Michael and Chiyan Ho reappropriate a music video of Paula Tsui (a Cantopop singer from Hong Kong) to address censorship via an eerie, blurry karaoke-style version of the video in which the viewer is invited to partake in the sing-along poem.

Newly commissioned for Gallery 31, Babeworld x utopian_realism’s analogue short film, soundscape and ‘bloody’ installation Derby Day is a violent investigation into the art world with a critical eye on intersectionality; defying and reclaiming this space whilst also conjuring a threshold into new potentials. 

About the artists


Babeworld is composed of Ash Williams (she/her) and Ingrid Banerjee Marvin (she/her), Gabriella Davies (she/her) and Caitlin Chase (she/her). 

Babeworld seeks to create a more representative art world through the creation of art, fundraising and creating grants, and facilitation of events - for those who are marginalised in the arts. With an emphasis on collaboration and co-creation, Babeworld’s practice focuses on themes of political and societal identity, specifically disability/access, neurodivergence, sex work and race. Their interactions with the communities they create and infiltrate consists of oversharing (otherwise known as attention-seeking) on the internet and through their events - and you best believe they'd overshare at a round table, and probably also cry. Babeworld is committed to bringing their ideas and networks to institutions and organisations in the art world, whether they want to hear it or not.


utopian_realism (aka Alessandro Moroni) was born and raised in Italy and is currently based in London. Unfolding through long-term research-based projects often starting from internet-native music genres and their aesthetics and communities, his practice focuses on concepts of nostalgia cycles, controlled escapism, commodified utopian narratives and collapsing myths of progress.

Michael Ho

Michael Ho (b.1991) is a multi-disciplinary artist, predominantly working with painting and film. Deriving from his background as an Asian immigrant in the Western context, his painting practice adopts a specific technique, in which Ho begins with pushing paint from the verso of the canvas and superimposing images on the recto. Such a laborious process serves as a parallel to his quest for duality, where elements of cultural mismatch and conflicts of identity and assimilation often convene. With a violet colour palette obscuring the concept of time, the paintings construct a fictional space of liminality, further problematising the mythical prospects of history inundated with ambiguity and ambivalence.

Michael Ho lives and works in London. He received his Diploma from the Architectural Associastion in 2019 and had his first solo presentation as part of Intra-Action at Soft Opening, London, UK, 2021. Other solo exhibitions include Tryst, Gallery Vacancy, Frieze, London 2022 and Kūnlún, at V.O Curations, London, 2021. Ho is currently included in Hollow Earth: Art, Caves & The Subterranean Imaginary, a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition, developed in partnership with Nottingham Contemporary and in collaboration with Glucksman, Cork and RAMM, Exeter.

Tarek Lakhrissi

Tarek Lakhrissi (lives and works in Paris) is a French artist and poet with a background in literature. He works across installation, performance, film, text and sculpture, engaging with transformative narratives within language, magic and politics in relation to bodies.

Lakhrissi has been exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions including Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Art; 22nd Biennale of Sydney (Sydney), Wiels (Brussels), Palazzo Re Rebaudengo/Sandretto (Guarene/Torino), Manchester International Festival (Manchester), Mostyn, (Llandudno), Tinguely Museum (Basel), HKW (Berlin), ICA (Londres), Shedhalle (Zurich); Fondation Ricard (Paris), Quadriennale di Roma; Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Roma), High Art (Paris), La Verrière, Fondation Hermès (BE), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Kevin Space (Vienna), Hayward Gallery (London), Auto Italia South East (London), Grand Palais, FIAC (Paris), Fondation Lafayette Anticipations (Paris), L’Espace Arlaud (Lausanne), Zabriskie (Geneva), Fondation Gulbenkian (Paris), Veda gallery (Firenze), CRAC Alsace (Altkirch), Kim? (Riga), Artexte (Montreal), Gaité Lyrique (Paris), SMC/CAC; (Vilnius). Lakhrissi’s artworks are part of different private and public collections like Defares, Sandretto Foundation or CNAP. He is represented by VITRINE Gallery (London/Basel).


A—Z presents works that focus on unbuilding systems of oppressions in terms of gender and racial identities. They are interested in empowerment in deconstructing racist and sexist structures and generating alternative (hi)stories in exploring personal experiences and non-linear, re-enacted storytelling. In line with this proposition, language and other forms of expression, from the bodily to the non-descriptive, are given a platform to create new ways of thinking and working together. The emphasis is placed not only on the audiences’ relation to the works, but also how various means of presenting politically-engaged work can become an activist practice, looking at practices that align with modes of resistances, resilience and positive/alternative futures. 

Anne Duffau is a cultural producer, researcher, and founder of A—Z, an exploratory/nomadic curatorial platform. A---Z aims at opening up to audiences by sharing discursive practices in order to challenge preconceived ideas on race, gender identities and the so-called history in terms of power relationship. Anne was the interim curator at Wysing for the Polyphonic Festival 2020/2021 Editions, & a Tutor at the Royal College of Art’s Contemporary Art Practice Programme. She is part of the collective Transmissions.tv and Décalé. She produces live music under Alpha through several projects and collaborations (Décalé, MAENADS, Polisonics).

Content guidance: This exhibition contains some graphic and disturbing artworks and therefore may not be suitable for children. Parental guidance advised.

*'the restoration of marginalised characters as central figures’, as developed and defined by Michelle Williams Gamaker.

Image credit: Still from Babeworld, Derby Day. 2022.