With a mist of important oils at its doorstep, Evan Ifekoya’s exhibition “Resonant Frequencies” opens onto a meditative, reparative spa steeped in colour and polyphonic sound. As daytime ebbs, the ambient chakra-spectrum gentle phases from orange to turquoise. 5 complementary installations—“portal models”—compose a soundscape of chimes, drums, waves, and vocal recitations from Oceanic Sage, the artist’s alter ego. Drawing on the teachings of Yoruba cosmology and psychoacoustic therapeutic, Oceanic Sage channels the diasporic depths of the sound arts, an inheritance shaping the Nigerian-born, London-based artist’s audiocentric “observe of residing so as to not flip to despair.”
In a single “portal unit,” The Welcome (all works 2022), water in a round tank ripples to the exhibition’s base frequency; its ceiling reflection glimmers overhead like a celestial object, inviting earthward-skyward contemplation. The Silent Echo, a sales space drenched in ultramarine gentle, remembers a salt-cave retreat however with supportively squishy partitions of spiked anechoic foam. Recurrent textures and geometries—calabash devices atop plinths, cork halos underfoot, communal seating evoking mud-brick structure, octagonal enclosures referencing Renée Inexperienced—relay a way of hallowed construction sourced from music-making and different reservoirs of Black life.
A founding father of Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.), a collective of QTBIPOC artists, Ifekoya believes in “ranging from a spot of abundance,” slightly than from the sense of identity-based dispossession that institutional endorsement can reify and renew. Heeding the desecrations, mourning, and burnout many expertise in the middle of routine survival, this exhibition sumptuously modulates between therapeutic and pedagogical modes of replenishment, hospitable to all who must fill their properly.