Immy Mali: Dressing Chamber

Immy Mali: Dressing Chamber | Press Release | Installation View | Text by Moses Serubiri

November 7-29, 2018
Opening Reception: November 9, 7-9pm
The gallery will be closed Nov. 21-24.

Immy Mali presents Dressing Chamber, an installation at Open Source Gallery.

Since early 2017, Ugandan artist Immy Mali has written letters addressed to “Marcue,” the name she was called as a child, as part of her ongoing series Letters to My Childhood. Through her letters to her younger self, Mali reconstructs and reassembles her memories to explore her childhood. In Dressing Chamber, which is a part of this series, the audience is invited to listen in on Mali’s letters to herself as she sifts through personal recollections, as well as investigates the inevitable fictions that are created in the process of recounting memories. Contrasting a space that is typically private, the dressing room, with the ones she knew as a child, (communal spaces in shared bedrooms at home and in boarding school), Dressing Chamber plays with the notions of public and private space, both figuratively and literally, by creating an intimate dressing chamber.

Dressing Chamber creates an immersive space, both intimate and public, for a conceptual reenactment of Mali’s memories as she reckons with factors that have shaped her life–from languages, customs, and traditions at home to her experiences under a colonial educational system. Using the mirror as a place to unveil one’s own vulnerabilities and simultaneously practice concealing them, Mali creates an installation where the audience is invited to sit in her confessional as she relays her memories.

Independent curator and writer Moses Serubiri writes about Letters to My Childhood: “Through this process of writing back to a younger self, Marcue, Mali unveils certain entanglements between language and cultural hegemony. In one of the letters to Marcue, Mali starts to retell a story in English only to later incorporate elements of another story in Lugbara, her mother tongue. While, this, according to the artist, reveals the open-ended form of oral storytelling in Lugbara, it is through this letter writing practice that she has become aware of the overt conditioning of English education and literacy. As traces of violent pedagogical acts emerge, it becomes clearer that one of the artist’s aims is to carry out a form of repatriation of both language and traditional knowledge.”

Immy Mali is a multimedia artist living and working in Kampala, Uganda. Mali received her BFA in Industrial and Fine Arts from the Makerere University. Mali is currently in residence at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten Amsterdam Netherlands. She has previously been an artist in residence at Rhodes University South Africa artist residency, the East African Regional Exchange Residency Program, 32° East Ugandan Arts Trust,KHOJ International Workshop Pune Maharashtra India among others. Mali’s work has been featured at CBK Centrum Beeldende Kunst (Netherlands), Africa Culture & Design Festival (Nigeria), Galeria do Banco Economico (Angola), Dakar Biennial (Senegal), 2nd Kampala Biennial 2016(Uganda), Städtische Galerie Bremen (Germany) and Circle Arts Agency (Kenya) among others.

2018 Fundraiser

2018 Fundraiser | Buy Tickets | Special Guests | Silent Auction

November 30, 2018
234 Butler St, Brooklyn
Tickets on sale now!

Bring the big purse this year for all the amazing art!

Join us to celebrate an amazing 11 years of Open Source–and raise money to support our future programming! Early bird tickets ($60) are available until November 10.

Over the past 11 years, Open Source has connected our community to artists from all over the world, shared stories, encouraged children’s creativity and spread love through public art. Whether we’ve discussed art with you over coffee during a Sunday morning cHURCH or over a drink at an opening reception, we have enjoyed sharing our work with you.

Our 11th Annual Fundraiser will include food, drinks, raffles and, of course, our much-anticipated silent auction, which will include generous donations by local and international artists. Special guests this year will include Meredith Johnson (VP of Arts and Culture at The Trust for Governors Island) and Gabriel de Guzman (Curator and Director of Exhibitions, Smack Mellon).

Each year, our annual fundraiser has a larger impact on programming than the last. In 2018, Open Source has hosted artists Pirmin Hagen, Christine Katscher, Tomás Rivas, Matthew Jensen, Xyza Cruz Bacani, Betty Yu, Khaled Jarrar and Immy Mali. Our education program made its home in Gowanus and our afterschool program expanded to schools throughout NYC. We heard powerful stories during How to Build a Fire and learned a lot about everything from the Rohingya refugee crisis to crickets to SPAM.

Now, we need your help to keep our programming incredible for years to come!

Yasmeen Abdallah: In The Cobwebs of the Catacombs

Thursday, Nov. 15, from 7-9pm
234 Butler Street

Yasmeen Abdallah presents an immersive exhibition culminating her artist residency at Open Source Gowanus. Please join us on Thursday, as we experience the body of work she has created during her tenure at Open Source.

In an era of continuous uncertainty and anxiety, Abdallah envisions a utopia in which there are no wars, no economics, and no humans to destroy the peace. In this Necropolis dreamscape, she recalls the subtleties and beauty in the petrified city below the living world. Through the language of textiles and interdisciplinary media, Abdallah creates a passageway that transports the visitor into this mysterious realm; contemplating the current state of humanity, the histories of its predecessors, and the fate that hangs in the balance.

Facebook Event



Tickets are available NOW for the Open Source Fundraiser on November 30, 2018!


OPEN SOURCE is a participant-driven art initiative in Brooklyn, NY that provides space, community and conceptual context for creative play and critical commentary.


2018 Fundraiser

2018 Fundraiser | Buy Tickets | Special Guests | Silent Auction November 30, 2018 7-10pm 234 Butler St, Brooklyn Tickets on sale now! Bring the big purse this year for all the amazing art! Join us to celebrate an amazing 11 years of Open Source–and raise money to support our future programming! Early bird tickets […]

church of monika

Mengwen Cao

What is the cHURCH? | cHURCH OF MONIKA: Mengwen Cao November 11, 2018 11:00am Join us at the cHURCH where Mengwen Cao will be discussing her work at the intersections of race, gender, and cultural identity. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served. During the cHURCH, Cao will be focusing on […]

Kids program