In this collaboration with film-maker Tereza Stehlikova, my sculptures merge with her video in an exploration of themes we found in the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone. The installation fills the street level of the gallery, representing the earthly plane, and its lower level, representing the underworld. The exhibition reveals the fluid exchange between conscious awareness and unconscious forces, and the contradictions between possibilities and limits that lie at the heart of our embodied lives.
Stehlikova filmed four generations of women–her grandmother, mother, daughter and herself–in their country house in Bohemia, focusing her camera on the bonds and tensions between the generations. My sculptures, made of translucent, amber-colored rawhide, receive and transform the video projections. The projected light animates the sculptures, while their visceral physicality reveals a hidden dimension under the women’s seemingly composed surfaces.
The on-line catalogue may be viewed here: http://issuu.com/gvart/docs/gv_art_-_generation_catalogue/1?e=2372036/4871189
In the Greek myth, Persephone, daughter of Demeter, the Greek goddess of abundance and harvest, is abducted by Hades, god of the underworld. Grieving the loss of her daughter, Demeter creates a famine on earth. The gods pressure Hades to allow Persephone, now queen of the underworld, to return to her mother for part of each year.
Tereza Stehlikova is a filmmaker and artist based in London. She is engaged in an exploration of tactility and its relation to moving image, which formed the basis of her PhD research at the Royal College of Art. She is also a lecturer at the University of Westminster and the RCA, and a founder of Sensory Sites, an international art collective committed to making multisensory, collaborative artwork. www.terezast.com.
Stehlikova and I have been in conversation for several years, first collaborating in Just Under the Surface, an exhibition in the Crypt Gallery in 2011, where her video was projected into one of my sculptures, Rivers of Hades: Forgetfulness (Lethe). This sculpture-with-video was exhibited at Sensory Worlds, Inspace Gallery in Edinburgh, later in 2011. We will continue to collaborate, along with Anais Tondeur (another member of Sensory Sites) on a new installation in London in June, 2014, to coincide with a conference called by CenSes (Center for the Study of the Senses), with whom Sensory Sites is collaborating.
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