Proxy Bodies

On the evening of 24 September 2021, I will be performing a sonic response to the Proxy Bodies exhibition at Hamilton Micro Arts Space in Felixstowe.

Proxy Bodies is a collaborative exhibition initiated by Elly Clarke in culmination of her three-month CHASE DTP supported PhD placement at Hamilton MAS. Through the media of photography, performance, embroidery, drawing, music and sound, the show explores ideas and lived realities of having and keeping a body going in an uber-connected, politically & ecologically unstable world – among other drags, pressures and pleasures.

All work in the exhibition makes use of different kinds of repetition. In Clareese Hill’s photo series Conjuring from the Rhizome, this repetition is also a form of ceremony, where she activates ancestral and critical diasporic knowledges to create spaces of rest. In these ceremonies, Hill conjures up The GUIDE, who is a triadic collaboration of Black knowledges, autoethnographic mining and ambivalence of participation within the academic conventions of research. Dominique Savitri Bonarjee’s Collapse, which has been performed in different places around the world over the past five years, is a ritual of resistance and surrender, a practice for listening to gravity, time, the weather, the climate, and the movements of an expanded field of aliveness. Next to this, her embroidery work Do Nothing is Best, made during lockdown last year, and gathers a number of sayings by four renowned Butoh dancers, as well as the artist’s contemporary meditations on their movement riddles.

Exhibited for the first time Bryony Graham’s rubbings of pain med blister packs were for a while the only thing she could do, when her illness made it incredible difficult to walk. Album is a high street stationery bought notebook which she repurposed into a photo album in 1991. In 2019, as part of a period of life review, radically adapting to a new way of living with a chronic, incurable pain condition, Graham took the images out again, leaving only the photo corners visible. In her work as an artist and as founder and director of this space, she is interested in invisible support structures, and in finding ways to make them visible.

For Elly Clarke, it’s the constant reusing and recycling of images that are the documentary digital detritus of performances and film projects she has created as her drag alter ego #Sergina. Traces of a Performance is a new series of images that are all taken from a single screen recorded rehearsal from a VJ set Clarke did on International Women’s Day in a former Nunnery in the Alsace in France in 2019.

Galina Shevchenko’s Prosthetics Series/Liquidity iterations muse with the ideas of labour, production, procreation, and mediation. Emerging as iPad drawings, the images evolve to become digital embroideries through custom-developed algorithms. Hanging in the windows, the embroideries are pinned to the ready-made matrix of commercially produced fabric and lace, channelling the processes of artificial cross-breeding. This work is inspired by Donna Haraway’s Cyborg manifesto and Shevchenko’s ongoing research into Renaissance Grotesques.

On Friday 24th September, Loula Yorke will perform a sonic response to the exhibition.

We are very grateful to CHASE DTP for supporting this exhibition.