Kingsgate projects is proud to present the first UK solo exhibition by artist-filmmaker Ruth Waters. Her new moving image installation, All of a Sudden I Began to Melt, reflects on contemporary wellness and the space it occupies in our culture and psyche. Set within a serene, sterile spa treatment room and taking place during a massage, the short film surreally explores the worker-client power dynamics of the service industry. The treatment takes an uncanny turn when the client notices a half eaten packet of wotsits on the sideboard; like the grit in the massage oil, their incongruous presence shatters the facade of the luxury experience. Climaxing in an uncanny exchange between client and wotsit, the work raises questions about society's desire for clinical, perfectly manicured, “quasi-spiritual” wellness experiences, and the impossible goal of complete control over our mental and physical environments.
Waters’ moving image installations ruminate on what effect late-capitalist society has on our psyche. Positioned in a context of dark humour, her scripted films implant animated everyday foods in acted scenes and shift seamlessly between the mundane and the surreal, often leaving the viewer asking which is which. Taking her own personal experiences as a starting point, she contemplates what it is to experience - and try to overcome - modern anxiety.
The work was created in collaboration with Luke Kulukundis & Mateo Villanueva Brandt of Foreign Body Productions
and set designer Matty Mancey-Jones. The development of All of a Sudden I Began to Melt
has been generously supported by Kingsgate Workshops’ Residency Programme and The Elephant Trust.