Exhibition Dates: February 18 - March 5, 2017
Opening: Saturday, February 18th, 7- 9pm
Address: contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Artists: Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Greet Billet, Aline Bouvy, Alisa Baremboym, LaKela Brown, Olivia Drusin, Raque Ford, Sophie Giraux, Agata Ingarden, Kiki Kogelnik, Tatiana Kronberg, Hannah Levy, Larissa Lockshin, Wangechi Mutu, GaHee Park, Magali Reus, Carolee Schneemann, Alina Tenser, Viola Yesiltac
We are beginning to understand trauma as heritable- directly passed down through generations of experience that alter the epigenetic expression of genes in the brain. You can physically feel collective anxiety because you literally carry it around in your body, molecular scars leftover from our ancestors. Years of experience dilute brain chemistry- synapses firing with no dopamine receptors to greet them, neurotransmitters shooting into silence, the dark labyrinth of a despondent mind. Often, the body functions as a space to store and communicate the same pain that our brains try to escape. How do you take back control of a body that's no longer yours?
Technology provides a crutch for the inconveniences of biological decline. A new bionic lung “breathes” air directly into the bloodstream, short-circuiting the body's own natural respiratory system. Humans do not have to remember to breath.
Most female robots qualify as such because they are given specific bodily signifiers, programmed to perform in certain ways we categorize as “feminine”. Why assign a robot a gender? Maybe it is only possible to obtain a purity of identity by transcending the body- shedding the skin, porous and penetrable, for something impermeable - silicon as skin, or a screen dotted with pixels instead of freckles, powered by batteries rather than oxygen.
Chemically, they are all the same - the batteries of bionics, in your TV remote, vibrator, or lung. You can picture them eroding in some landfill - the dermis of the earth- disparate in origin, size and brand but reduced down to the same elements at this stage of life; melting into mercury and nickel, lithium and electrolytes, seeping back into the water supply. You can imagine the taste of battery acid, sharp and metallic, like a dirty penny or the blood of machines. The fragility of human experience is revealed through simple gestures, tiny nuanced moments: a puff of smoke, not so much blown as released out of one’s lungs, things gliding on water. Existing physically. Staring at the ceiling thinking Open the earth to enclose me, or change my form, which has brought me into this danger! Attempting to reconcile a body that both humanizes and imperils you. Choosing to be laurel.
Show curated by Tatiana Kronberg (artist and part of Essex Flowers), Rosie Motley (co-runs Motel) and Laurence Dujardyn (co-owner Bunk Club)