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Photo: Miriam Wie.
PVC foil, mesh textile, LED, wood, metal, acrylic, motor, 3D print, jewelry chain
300 x 140 x 280 cm, variable
5 and a half hours of phone-screen time, plus 8 hours of laptop-screen time, plus another 3 hours of tv-screen time. My retinas have become numb to all the digital displays I consume, absorbing the steady light from these sixteen-plus hours of my eyes scanning from device to device, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Blue artificial light suppresses melatonin, which is maybe why I stopped sleeping well two years ago. This is only one effect of the pandemic on my body. I also feel it in my head, my shoulders, and my back. In my knee, every time it creaks. Undoubtedly, I know that this is not true physical exhaustion by any means.
But we are all tired in different ways. Living with an uncertain future in unprecedented times, has made us weary. Although, we have come to realise that what we are experiencing was quite predictable and not without precedent; capitalism, colonialism, consumption, carnality have always been forces that have shaped relations to ourselves and each other. Supply chains collapsing, warehouse shortages, and worker strikes are some of the ways in which these systems have been challenged and upended. This exhibition depicts these tensions, illustrating a resistance to notions that have always existed, that have only been propelled forward and continue to sustain themselves, even amidst climactic and cultural precarity.
We are interested in varying topics, but the continuous thread that weaves between our projects is a sense of collective fatigue. Some of us have attempted to resist these effects through emancipatory forms of expression, while others of us acknowledge that we have had to succumb to the limits of our own bodies, minds, and temporality. Within our contemporary framework of linear, capitalist time, we look to find ways to build new forms of intimacy that are premised on conversation, relation, and potential.
For us, this means rejecting gender binaries, disentangling our own identities from productivity, and questioning cannon. These works look to reject the capitalist, colonial conditions that have felt especially overwhelming during the last two years. They are lullabies and love stories to ourselves. We are not looking to define what a post-pandemic world can be, but merely open a space in time where we can move beyond the paradigm that at times feels all consuming.
Text by Ella den Elzen
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