Quilla Constance aka Jennifer Allen, Transcending The Signified at MOCA

Transcending The Signified

MOCA London

Quilla Constance aka Jennifer Allen

11 June – 1 July, 2017
PV: Sunday 11 June 2 - 4pm (with performance)

This June The Museum of Contemporary Art London presents Transcending The Signified, an exhibition of bespoke large scale paintings, costumes, live cello and non-linguistic vocal performances by interdisciplinary artist Quilla Constance aka Jennifer Allen.

Transcending The Signified will explore possibilities for performing and existing beyond learned actions, language, familiar aesthetics, and socio-cultural boundaries.

Quilla Constance's paintings employ a synergy between props, architectural structures and performative surfaces. For Transcending The Signified, two large-scale paintings will be exhibited as part of the architecture within the MOCA space. Fitted into two alcoves, the paintings, both intricate and imposing are set up to oscillate between sculptural and painterly interventions.

Through her performance on June 11th, Quilla Constance will deliver a surprising deviation from Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor (first movement). Performing in front of her paintings, QC's sculptural costumes conflate with these surfaces through a merging of colours and textures. Are these paintings self-portraits or an abstraction of identities which suggest the performative nature of all identity? Is it possible for QC and indeed Jennifer Allen to transcend these (often injurious) familiar and 'exotic' surfaces?

Here QC questions notions of cultural authenticity, challenges disciplinary boundaries, and in turn, offers a raw and fresh frame through which Allen examines the construction and negotiation of black female identities within contemporary British society and high art.

Through Transcending The Signified QC invites the viewer into a dialogue through which the notion of cultural authenticity and the production of meaning is visibly contested.

About Quilla Constance:

Quilla Constance 'QC' is an 'exotic' militant punk persona created and deployed by Jennifer Allen to interrogate category driven capitalist networks and locate points of agency within systems of power. As QC, Allen stages and virally inserts aspects of her artistic practice within pop and social media culture, traversing music venues, forging street protests and entering art galleries in order to emulate, interrupt and critique the operations of these cultural zones.

Quilla Constance stages interventions across an interdisciplinary practice of paintings, installations, lectures, photographs, live performances, costumes and music videos.

Transcending The Signified is funded by Arts Council England with a related public symposium event scheduled to take place at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL, Wilson Road Lecture Theatre on Friday 23rd June 2017 (See below for details)

All Transcending The Signified exhibitions and events are open to the public and entry is free of charge.

Quilla Constance aka Jennifer Allen's previous exhibitions, screenings and performances have taken place at venues such as: The Freud Museum, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Royal Academy of Arts, Toynbee Studios, 176 London (Zabludowicz Collection), Modern Art Oxford, Camden Arts Centre, The Kendrew Barn (St John's College Oxford), and 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning.

Transcending The Signified – Exhibition & Events

Transcending The Signified
MOCA London
11 June – 1 July, 2017
PV: Sunday 11 June 2-4pm (with performance)

Transcending The Signified : Symposium
Wilson Road Lecture theatre, UAL
Friday 23rd June
(Contact MOCA for further details)

MOCA London - 113 Bellenden Rd, London SE15 4QY
Contact: 020 7771 9778


Transcending The Signified will tour to The Old Fire Station Gallery, Oxford in August and St John's College, University of Oxford.

Transcending The Signified
The Old Fire Station Gallery, Oxford

Thursday 3rd August - 1st September, 2017
Private view Thursday 3 August, 6-8pm (with performance)

Previous Exhibition