Foundation & Trust Gallery presents Hazel Dowling: Power Play
This June, Foundation & Trust Gallery will present Power Play, a new exhibition by artist Hazel Dowling.
The work Dowling has developed for ‘Power Play’ presents a sequence of scenarios that relate to the performance of power relations within social groups, the ritualised activity of criminal cults and anthropological studies into the idea of ‘Deep Play’. She has considered these ideas in relation to the specific instance of Rainer Wener Fassbinder’s play ‘Pre-Paradise Sorry Now’, which deals with the real events of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady as subjects who constructed and lived through a fantasy.
Dowling’s concerns relate to practices of performance and the formation of subjectivity. The concept of ideology operating at the point of institutional initiation - as proposed in the writing of Louis Althusser - has provided a rich source for her engagement with the imaginary relationships subjects form together; a continuing concern in her work and her ongoing engagement with various forms of ‘social movement’, from the culture of folk song and dance, to the evolution of syncopated rhythm from slave plantation dance competitions.
Dowling’s research often materialises through the process of re-creating events, documents and images found in archives. These have been the starting point for initiating situations where divergent records of the past can be brought together; a process that often happens through asking participants to rehearse, interpret and perform material such as dance manuals, written accounts, engravings and photographs; in order to reveal the political charge present in these given movements and materials.
Through the artist’s performance, films and set she seeks to investigate the nature of theatre by proposing different articulation of its constitutive elements such as costume, gesture, voice and set, considering theatre as both and architectural space and a collective activity. Dowling approaches each new project as a process of collaboration, deliberately seeking to work against presumed divisions or fields of specialisation.
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