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Show RCA 2019

Chloe Carroll

Show RCA work

Major project:

The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase

‘The waste lives for those moments beyond teaching when you give away the unexpected beautiful phrase – unexpected, no one has asked, beautiful, it will never come back.’

The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten

The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase took place in Nottingham Contemporary’s The Space on the 4th of May 2019, seeking to articulate the tactics of a fugitive learning through a day-long series of performative gestures. Departing from Harney and Moten’s ‘The University and the Undercommons’, the programme considered the fugitive as one who occupies a space of perpetual contradiction, simultaneously within and beyond the institution: ‘on the stroll of the stolen life’, yet reliant on the institution as a place from which to steal.

Featuring new and existing performances, poetry, sound and video works, The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase considered how embodied knowledges may be transmitted through performative practices, and how such embodiment may enable illicit and alternative knowledges to thrive within and beyond the institution. The event invited artists and writers to consider how the fugitive learner navigates and subverts institutional space, using their own body as a container and disseminator of knowledges that refuse legibility.

The second in a series of events in the lead-up to CAMPUS, a new independent studies programme launching at Nottingham Contemporary in October 2019, The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase was an experiment in making space for the unexpected and the beautiful within learning.

Contributors: Department for International Dance Development, Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman, Rosa Johan Uddoh, Christopher Kirubi, Raju Rage, Holly Pester, Dorine Van Meel and Jules Sturm.


  • Chloe Carroll is a curator, writer and researcher based in London, working towards curatorial processes of decolonisation that deal with live materialities, modes of performativity and the reclamation of subjugated knowledges. Her dissertation, entitled ‘In Pursuit of a Decolonial Materiality’, examined the political potential of material disobedience in the work of Candice Lin and Otobong Nkanga.

    Central to her practice is an engagement with contemporary poetry and experimental literature, and a consideration of how literature may be further integrated into or supported by the curatorial.

  • Previous degrees

  • BA English Literature, University of Cambridge, 2016
  • Experiences

  • Guest writer, Associates, London, 2018–19; Gallery assistant and project coordinator, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, London, 2017
  • Exhibitions

  • 'CAMPUS Fugitive: The Unexpected Beautiful Phrase', Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, 2019; 'surfaceDEEP', Robert Burt Gallery, London, 2018
  • Collaborators

  • Pablo Luis Alvarez, Giulia Antonioli, Teal Baskerville, Emily Hale, Laura Luempert
Royal College of Art