Centrum presents Devil’s Milk, the second act in Bethan Hughes’ ongoing artistic research project, Hevea.
Initiated in 2020, Hevea is a multidisciplinary material investigation into the relationship between natural rubber – a botanical substance intertwined with the rise of capitalism, imperialism and modernism – and humanity.
Still primarily ‘tapped’ from Hevea Brasiliensis or para rubber tree plantations but similarly found in thousands of plant species worldwide, latex flows through and connects vast and violent histories of colonialism, extractivism and labour exploitation with the development of globalisation, information technologies, fashion and fetish. Today, processed for use in myriad commercial products, the ever increasing demand for natural latex accelerates deforestation across Southeast Asia and China while multinational corporations scramble to cultivate species that offer alternatives to Hevea rubber.
Devil’s Milk aims to make these unseen interconnections visible through a site-specific installation that interweaves research into the violent histories and plant-based origins of natural rubber with the manifold cultural roles it inhabits as a material of ritual and transformation. Temporary sculptures, machine-learning animation, and text are used to tell the story of how latex rubber and humanity are intimately intertwined, tapping into a broader narrative of how people manipulate, abstract and are ultimately tethered to the natural world.
As part of the solo exhibition Hevea Act 2: Devil’s Milk, Centrum will offer a two-hour outdoor workshop where participants are invited to explore the botanical origins and material histories of rubber through a curated walk with the artist in the neighborhood of Neukölln, and a hands-on making session. More information will follow soon.
Bethan Hughes (b. 1989, Wigan, UK) studied Fine Art at The Glasgow School of Art and Media Art at the Bauhaus University Weimar. In 2020, she received a doctorate from the University of Leeds for her thesis, “Against Immateriality: 3D CGI & Contemporary Art”. Between 2019-20, she was a BS Projects fellow. Recent presentations include If Everything is Connected, Everything is Vulnerable at HBK Braunschweig, 2020; TAPPING, DRESSING, a duo exhibition with Laura Schawelka at Diskurs Berlin, 2020; Re-shift, Re-calibrate, hosted by Pavilion / Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds. She is currently a participant of the Goldrausch project for women artists (Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt).
The exhibition can be visited only in compliance with the known hygiene measures. Before your visit, we ask for a short pre-registration at firstname.lastname@example.org or via this link.
Devil’s Milk is commissioned by Centrum and curated by Jorgina Stamogianni.
The project is funded by the District Cultural Fund.
soft opening on May 27th at 18:00
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