New Art Highlights
23 - 29 November 2020
New Art Highlights of the week includes: Davinia-Ann Robinson, Amanda Loomes, David Excoffier and Matthew Herring.
Plasticised Sensation, 2019 by Davinia-Ann Robinson
Plasticised Sensation explores pleasure and the structures of power surrounding the erotic for women of colour. The installation is topped by flesh-coloured vessels containing varnish and the compound plasticiser, which slowly drips down onto elastic bands, fake hair, and the floor. Plasticised Sensation takes inspiration from writer Audre Lorde’s essay, “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic is Power” (1984), in which Lorde discusses the power of the erotic and how women have been ‘mis-sold’ what the erotic truly is. Lorde argues that the erotic has been misinterpreted as a fake ‘plasticised sensation’ that is overtly sexual, fake and holds no true room for women’s real pleasure or power. Over time, the varnish dripping from installation appears to transform the work into the Plasticised Sensation.
Combine, 2020 by Amanda Loomes
Combine juxtaposes extracts from Double Harvest, The Great Jib and Iron Ore in Britain with my own previously unseen footage filmed at the Ketton Cement Works in Rutland. The resulting film shines a light on unseen labour to challenge complacency surrounding industry’s use of human resources.
At the Ketton Cement Works I learnt that a significant challenge in cement manufacture is securing a consistent supply of high calorific fuel for the kilns. One primary substitute fuel is meat and bone meal (MBM) from the meat processing industry. In Double Harvest, we get fleeting glimpses of the workers as they yield to the Sisyphean task of feeding the blast furnaces, poorly protected by limited Personal Protective Equipment, sweating, their own meat and bone thrust between machine parts.
Combine merges past and present to imaginatively explore continuity and ambiguity of purpose.
The synchronicity between scenes echoes the thoughts of the late Tony Benn: “Every generation must fight the same battles again and again. There’s no final victory and there’s no final defeat.”
Commissioned by Fermynwoods Contemporary Arts as part of Triple Harvest, 2020.
Transitional object #2, 2015 - 2017 by David Excoffier
An intimate photography series revolving around different childhood trauma, such as the death of a parent, the abuse from a stranger and creation as a way of healing from them.
Encyclopaedia Ball, 2020 by Matthew Herring
Encyclopaedia Ball is a long-running project to turn an entire set of Encyclopaedia Britannicas into a solid papier mache ball. It is made by layering page after page onto the ever growing ball. At the time of posting, I was at the letter 'C' (volume 6).
See my blog for an interview and video about Encyclopaedia Ball: https://matthewherring.wordpress.com/2020/11/20/encyclopaedia-ball-an-interview-with-myself/