15 – 16 January, 2016ReTramp Gallery, BerlinVideo and film screening with works by Rachel Maclean, Shana Moulton, Heather Phillipson, and Julie Verhoeven
Clean it, heal it, wipe it, wrap it, sanitised and mesmerised. Purity and danger, dirt and paranoia.Odours and openings.
The female body is never considered clean. It sweats, it bleeds, it grows hair, it smells. It requires constant care and work. It is either categorically filthy or idealised and pure. Since the 19th century, women have become agents and objects of what historian Kathleen Brown defines as “body work”: cleaning, healing and caring practices which not only keep the body clean but also reflect changing notions of health, class and gender. Social anthropologist Mary Douglas stated that dirt, as well as taboo body fluids such as menstrual blood, are eliminated in cleansing rituals, because they depict “matter out of place”, a sign of chaos and unsettlement. Time and money is spent to put the matter into place, to purify and modify. The female body is understood to be “out of control”, a woman who does not partake in “body work” is letting herself go.
The featured film and video pieces in BODY WORK explore images and imageries of the female body in multiple ways, examining what it means to work with and on the female body.
Rachel Maclean (Glasgow, UK) uses green screen composite videos and digital print to form disturbing candy-coloured, multi-layered worlds, referencing both historical events and imagined futures. The artist graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. Solo exhibitions include Zabludowicz Collection, London and The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow.Shana Moulton (New York City, USA) takes on the role of the fictive character Cynthia and creates performance, installation and video works which easily slip from the absurdities of daily life to dream-like sequences of the subconscious, from consumer culture to New Age aesthetics.Recent exhibitions and events at MoMA, New York; Yerba Buena center for the Arts, San Francisco; Smack Mellon, New York and DUVE, BerlinHeather Phillipson (London, UK) works across video, sculpture, drawing, music, text and live events. Her videos and sculptural installations behave as places, musical scores, poems and nervous systems – attending to how physical and affective “selves” are constructed, manipulated and, above all, escape. Phillipson’s work was previously shown at the Istanbul Biennial; Performa New York; Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt; Tate Britain, London; Serpentine Gallery, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris and Institute of Contemporary Art, London.
Julie Verhoeven (London, UK) Following her work as a fashion designer and illustrator, Julie Verhoeven creates intriguing video works and installations. Combining fabrics, patterns, costumes, objects and music to a wild, sensual collocation, Verhoeven draws on concepts of style, sexuality and gender. Her work has recently been shown at Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and The Holburne Museum, Bath, amongst others.