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Joy Inside Our Tears, 2021

HAROLD OFFEH: Joy Inside Our Tears (2021)

21st January 2023 - 18th March 2023

Pavement Gallery presents Harold Offeh’s ‘Joy Inside Our Tears’ (2021). Commissioned by The Wellcome Gallery in 2020 and shown there in 2021, Offeh’s installation will feature at Pavement Gallery between 21st January and 18th March 2023. 


Consisting of video, sound, and vinyl photographs, Offeh responds to historical examples of social dance in relation to trauma. His research for the commission focuses on medieval dance mania - the spontaneous outbreaks of dance amongst Northern European peasants in 14th century plague time - alongside the HIV/AIDS ‘dance-a-thon’ fundraisers held in the US during the 1990’s. Here, the act of joy and celebration through dance and duration transforms collective social trauma and anxieties. Through Joy Inside Our Tears, Pavement Gallery becomes transformed into an electric-yellow locomotion of energy. Reaching beyond the limitations of the gallery with it’s miasmic audio (produced by poet and sound-designer Xana), the work spills to the street, coaxing visitors and passers-by alike to join the infectious movement. Located within the centre of Manchester (in close proximity to the famous Canal Street), the work is placed in direct dialogue with the city’s substantial cultural history of both collective modern dance and queer empowerment.


Artist Harold Offeh works in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. Through the use of humour within his work, Offeh confronts the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture. Offeh studied Critical Fine Art Practice at The University of Brighton, MA Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art, a PhD exploring the activation of Black Album covers through durational performance, and is currently a tutor in MA Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art.

Performers: Harold OffehVeronica Cordova de la RosaSamra MayanjaEbun A Sodipo

Choreography: Vânia Gala

Design and Photography: Eloise Calandre

Sound design: Xana

Production support: Jack ScottJames Jordan Johnson

Commissioned for the Wellcome Collection, London


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