A Collaborative Exhibition
The collaborative exhibition ‘Carcass’ was held at Central Saint Martins on 5 February 2015.
This was the end product of a seminar series on ‘Thinking through the body’ in which contemporary artists’ use of the body in their work was explored. The use of the body in much of contemporary art is a political act. Figurative art, i.e. the representation of the physical form, is primarily an art for optical assimilation and largely reinforces established forms of artistic encounter, namely one of passive spectatorial consumption. The presence (or otherwise) of the body, on the other hand, injects a degree of subjectivity in to the work. Differences in race, gender, sexuality and class affect not only the artist’s intent but also, in all likelihood, the audience’s engagement with the work. As such, passive consumption is challenged and social engagement engendered.
The increasing importance of relational aesthetics (in which the interaction of the audience with the work is key) was a primary consideration in the curation of this exhibition.
The work, exhibited in and around four suspended wooden frames, was connected by a series of wires ‘nourishing’ the carcass. Individual pieces within the carcass included contours of form (Katarina Sabine), self-harmed skin (Aurelie Poux), transference of feeling and form (Marysia Bigaj), nourishment (Eleanor Strong), boundaries and orifices (Rachel Christian and Sally Burch) and milk teeth (Ricardo Pimentel) amongst others. The milk teeth were a representation, not only of our mortality but also of our presence, the changes that our bodies undergo and also the emotional capital attached to some of those changes.
Some of the photographic documentation of the exhibition is shown below along with each of the artist’s names and their websites where applicable.