Finissage: Kanga for the Present

Ada M. Patterson
Saturday, 6 November, 16.30-20.00

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While artist Ada M. Patterson’s presentation-in-progress Kanga for the Present is reaching its final configuration with newly developed kanga, we come together for the last time at HMK to witness, think and reflect about and beyond the story they tell: one of joy and grief between changing bodies and changing worlds. 

We start the afternoon with a conversation by dr. Eliza Steinbock, Associate Professor of Gender and Diversity Studies at Maastricht University, with Ada and the audience, followed by time to visit the exhibition and see Ada’s film The Whole World is Turning in the cinema.

16.30: doors open
17.00: introduction
17.15: conversation with Eliza Steinbock and Ada M. Patterson
18.00: time to visit the exhibition, see the movie The Whole World is Turning and have a drink and snack.
20.00: doors closing

In the cinema: The Whole World is Turning

A group of friends and lovers is visited by a familiar guest. They remark on how this guest has turned, how they have turned and how the whole world is turning. How will they receive this turn of events? 

The Whole World Is Turning is a queer retelling of hurricanes. Patterson imagined this work in the Fall of 2019, during the material and emotional turmoil left after Hurricane Dorian hit the Caribbean and devastated The Bahamas. The Caribbean region is one of the frontlines of climate crisis. Seasonal destruction by hurricanes has always been part of the social fabric of life and death in the region. Yet the hurricane season, and the destruction it brings, continues to be warped and intensified by rising sea levels and temperatures. 

How does one relate to the planet that forms our lifeworld becoming more turbulent and precarious? Rather than casting the hurricane as a malignant force of nature to blame, or a spirit of revenge to curse, Patterson casts it as a regular visitor and familiar guest. Unable to explain herself, and unable to see through her swollen eye, she appears changing and confused. What if we see her not as the prime agent of havoc and hurt, but view her erratic behaviour and our erratic experience as symptoms of our world being caught in the crosshairs of climate imperialism?

Ada M. Patterson (Bridgetown, 1994) is a visual artist and writer working with masquerade, textiles, performance, video and poetry, telling stories and imagining elegies for ungrievable bodies and moments. Patterson is the 2020 NLS Kingston Curatorial & Art Writing Fellow. Upcoming exhibitions include “Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 1950s – Now” at Tate Britain, London.

Eliza Steinbock is Associate Professor of Gender and Diversity Studies at Maastricht University. They are author of the award-winning book Shimmering Images: Trans Cinema, Embodiment, and the Aesthetics of Change (Duke, 2019), and co-editor of Art and Activism in the Age of Systemic Crisis: Aesthetic Resilience (Routledge, 2020). Currently, Eliza is project leader of “The Critical Visitor” consortium, developing intersectional approaches for inclusive heritage (NWO 2020-2025). Together with Susan Stryker and Jian Neo Chen, Eliza co-edits the new Duke book series for critical trans studies, ASTERISK.​

Important notes:
-For entry to the event we ask you to provide a personal QR code or recent test result.
-During the event, a photographer will be present to take photos.
-For any questions with regard to care and accessibility, please contact

Image: Ada M. Patterson, Kanga for the Present (HORN OF PLENTY), mixed media, inkjet on cotton, 2021.