The notion of “care” in its particular person and collective perform has re-manifested within the wake of latest sanitary, financial, and social crises. Rooted in lots of historical cultures—from medicinal gardens, hammams to Japanese actions that search deeper connections between the physique and thoughts—the rituals that are actually known as practices of “self-care” and “self-improvement” have turn into symbols of commodity capitalism. The commercial revolution of the nineteenth century has amongst others engendered the shift in the direction of individualism. Taking care of oneself grew to become a compulsory obligation in Western societies—protecting up the pains of 24h neoliberal techniques with basis and rouge. Accelerated by the rise of media and common tradition in addition to technological progress, wellness and leisure cultures have expanded into states of commodity for the reason that 50s. Right this moment, these are nonetheless perceived as indicators of financial, social, and cultural sophistication, and have turn into the reflections of a fractured and unequal society.
Subsequently, within the context of overproduction, anxiousness, burn-outs, saturation, the demand for extra self-care but additionally collective care have elevated. Creator Audre Lorde suggests in her textual content “A Burst of Gentle,” “caring for myself is just not self-indulgence, it’s self-preservation, and that’s an act of political warfare.” Lorde makes the excellence between the individualisation of care as an attribute to at least one’s private well-being, and care as a method of survival, a observe of deeper introspection for the sake of mutuality and reciprocity. The latter acts on a extra summary degree, it’s a device of data, crucial to beat injustice and place oneself within the framework of communal effort. This dichotomy lies on the core of the exhibition “TIES AND KNOTS AND BANDAGES.”
Céline Ducrot makes use of the unforgivingly sharp but misty strategy of airbrushing to create worlds the place protected house prevails. Seemingly widespread exchanges between nameless our bodies and ghosts inhabit her canvases. They carry out speculative rituals in intimate settings, someplace protected from the outside, the place the guard is down, highly effective of their defencelessness, bare. Surfacing out of layers of safety, freed from their metallic armours, the facility of those our bodies lies not of their power however of their fragility, accepting vulnerability.
Being the seen a part of the physique, the pores and skin serves extra than simply as an envelope. It’s a web site of negotiation between one’s inner self and all that which is exterior. It’s the place the place id is outlined. An envelope, a protect and a vessel, a permeating layer, partaking and responding. In her “Cyborg Manifesto,” Donna Haraway asks: “Why ought to our our bodies finish on the pores and skin?” which inherently suggests a actuality of a self past the armour, a collective physique. Versus an accumulation of particular person identities, Céline Ducrot creates a symbiotic construction that emerges from the multiplicity of identities that come collectively to form a collective means of experiencing the world. Out of the mist, our bodies bend in the direction of one another in the hunt for solace and compassion. Their actions, stopped in time, recommend moments of caring encounters that construct a standard resilience. The world that Céline Ducrot builds means that self-care may also be a social observe, or just a frame of mind, versus an instrument of oppression.
The greasy, opaque, and glossy floor of Vanessa Safavi’s sculptures evokes a way of attraction. The brand new trio of sculptures from the VACUUM collection sits in house like unidentifiable home objects. Made from silicone, the comfortable sculptures are harking back to intercourse toys or vacuum cleaner design prototypes. Taking inspiration from sci-fi movies and 60s Italian design, Vanessa Safavi digs into the intersections of design, our bodies, and materiality. The artist’s work offers with the social and cultural constructs of various materialities but additionally their historic associations and the bond they create with one’s physique. The elastic, wobbly and carnal side of the sculptures leaves the viewers to take a position on their meanings and features.
In HOLDING SUBSTITUTE the identical materials twists and wraps round a metal bar. The straps maintain the folds collectively, tight and hooked up, but free. An erotic connotation that opens the thought of delight and self-pleasure, amongst others. In some S&M practices, the sexual fetish and sense of delight are discovered among the many ties, the bondages that squeeze and constrain the physique till closing launch. Sensual, sticky, humid. A libidinal enchantment to the feel rises within the rubber supplies.
After the silicone: the latex—a pure or synthetic polymer materials, identified for its elongation and resistant skills and recommended symbolism. Within the video VELVET, a line of manufacturing for latex gloves is featured. The manufacturing facility referred to as PRIMUS GLOVES in India levels the ambiguities of a globalised system of manufacturing and high-end mechanical applied sciences. Oscillating between slowness, repetition and obsession, the video appears to level to the strain between countless cyclic actions and the hand as a human function changing into the slave of the machine. Vanessa Safavi is within the perpetual optimisation of applied sciences and the way these form our lives.
Franziska Koch’s 4-channel sound composition introduces a socially engaged and relational observe of listening. Conceived as a love letter to her finest pal, the composition insists on a language of care. It’s the results of a observe that Franziska Koch made for herself and her pal to return collectively and calm down from hyper-productivity and share gradual moments of non-verbal consolation and tenderness. It grew to become an area of 1 exercise: making ceramic flutes. An area additionally dedicated to understanding a cloth past one’s full management; studying from YouTube tutorials; moulding the clay; giving kind to an instrument and questioning how it will sound. The flute-based composition is impressed by the soundtrack of the Chinese language TV present “Phrase of Honor,” by which the protagonist performs the flute to heal, strengthen and luxury his sick lover. Referring to a quote from the creator bell hooks that implies “communities of care are sustained by rituals of regard” Franziska Koch invitations guests to tune in, to not empathise, however to be current and have interaction in an emotional and political act.
Care as an antidote to violence. Seen as an act of reciprocity and a observe of introspection, care permits methods to problem the dictatorship of viral capitalism dominated by development by way of destruction, productiveness by way of extraction, progress by way of extinction, and revenue by way of exhaustion. It frees up potentialities for collectively imagining, practising, feeling, pondering, and dreaming of modes of coexistence.
Between rigidity and rest, “TIES AND KNOTS AND BANDAGES” displays upon the questions of particular person and collective well-being, projecting the physique as a container for private histories, bodily or emotional trauma, and cultural heritage.
by Kristina Grigorjeva and Camille Regli
at KRONE COURONNE, Biel/Bienne
till December 3, 2022