it is easier to work
after our bodies
A sea of assembled anatomies of various materials and incomplete parts. Hollow, truncated torsos bearing the traces of sunburns and spray-cans float with meditative mudra hands on styrofoam islands. For all its origin mythology, clay becomes suddenly futuristic here when paired with fake nails, headphones, or yoga pants. And unlike the breath of creation, which animates flesh and soul when directed inwards, the dash emoji’s puff moves against the flow of the text, as if making space for other words and work, for failing bodies and divided attentions. A dualism at the heart of the installation separates these bodies and minds, leaving the latter to be seduced by screen-like tablets promising mindfulness and competitive streaks of 'intimate self-surveillance'** on fragile, unfired apps. The gaze of the spectator shifts inward, keenly aware of the urge to communicate encounters with the seemingly sublime. Fingers just recently in a contemplative gesture begin to twitch, gradually clenching into fists that are both untouching and untouched, resisting participation in the presence of a loitering art history – one of countless frames and filters.
Now atomised, pixelated, and tranquilized, Rothko meets Calm™ in the flow of blue divided by blue.
* — Audre Lorde, “Recreation” in The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde, 1997.
** — Sun-Ha Hong, “Data’s Intimacy” in Machine Communication, 2016. With thanks to Eloise Sweetman for the reference.