Tate Modern Performance

Nkisi: The Spiral

A white spiral on a black background with the text 'A constant tension between event and meaning, as an intuition of living consciousness...'

Nkisi The Spiral 2019. Courtesy the artist

Experience an immersive new audiovisual work made for the Starr Cinema

Musician and artist Nkisi (the alias of Melika Ngombe Kolongo) is known for her distinct combinations of rave, gabber and industrial influences with haunting atmospherics and pan-African percussion. For her first cinema performance, Nkisi has partnered with artist Charlie Hope to create a dynamic multi-channel sound and visual experience. The Spiral approaches the cinema as an environment in which we can tune into perceptions of sound, image, space and time, and their connections to cosmic energies.

The Spiral is conceptually rooted in both the ancient knowledge system of the West African Dogon tribe and the legacy of the late pioneer of spectral music, Gérard Grisey. The project is the outcome of an invitation to re-imagine the Starr Cinema as a spatial sound environment. It is the second episode in this invitation series after Michael Snow and Mani Mazinani’s 12-channel audio composition Waivelength.

The programme is presented free as part of the September edition of Uniqlo Tate Lates in partnership with NTS Radio.


The Spiral, 2019, digital video, laser and sound (surround), 45 min

Note to audiences: This work contains flashing lights. There will be no late entry, and we ask that you stay seated until the end of the performance.


Nkisi (aka Melika Ngombe Kolongo)

Nkisi is a musician and artist born in the Democratic Repubic of Congo, raised in Belgium and now based in London. Her practice uses sound to investigate invisible forces. She is a co-founder of NON Worldwide, a collective of African and African diaspora musicians. Her most recent album 7 Directions (UIQLP002) was released on UIQ in 2019. Its first track provides the sound for Tate Film’s 2019 trailer.​

Charlie Hope

Charlie Hope is an artist based in London. He is a co-founder of LONDON TOPOPHOBIA, an artist-led group organising interdisciplinary performances and installations often involving sound, choreography, performance, electronics and light.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit


27 September 2019 at 20.00–20.45

27 September 2019 at 21.30–22.15

Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from Turbine Hall ticket desk beginning at 17.00 on the day

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