Bodies That Matter

27 Sep 2013

Event times

Open to the public 2.30-8.30pm

Cost of entry


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ArtLacuna Space

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Clapham Junction Rail, take the Grant Road exit, turn right and then left onto Falcon Road, we are five minutes walk on the left hand side of Falcon Road
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Where art and performance meet; 20 artists discuss their work, join the conversation.


Anna Baker | Madeleine Botet de Lacaze | Sasha Bowles | Bethe Bronson | Amelia Critchlow | Chris Cawkwell | Joss Cole | Alicja Dobrucka | Jane Harris | Ann-Marie James | Rebecca James | Alex March | Mindy Lee | James Petrucci | Trish Scott | Joshua Y'Barbo

Annabel Frearson | boyleANDshaw

373 Kennington Lane, SE11 4PS, nearest tube: Oval, Vauxhall

Between 12-2pm, up to 20 artists will bring work to install, en masse, in the gallery space at Space Station Sixty Five. Following a short break, from 2.30-4.30pm there will be an informal, salon-style crit, which all artists are encouraged to join.

The act that one does, the act that one performs, is, in a sense, an act that has been going on before one arrived on the scene. Hence, gender is an act which has been rehearsed, much as a script survives the particular actors who make use of it, but which requires individual actors in order to be actualized and reproduced as reality once again.

In the above statement, Butler may be referring specifically to gender, but within the confines of speech act theory and notions of performativity, we can surely relate the statement to our perceptions of self and subjectivity as artists.

Predominantly, though not exclusively, as subjects, we enact our reality under linguistic constructions; by repeatedly articulating social conventions and ideologies, are our practices merely a continuation and affirmation of the 'script' Butler identifies.

Furthermore, if we take the assertion that '...gender is not something that one is, it is something one does' and apply to our practices rather than gender, can we ask whether artistic production is not inherently subjective, but an oft-repeated performance, bound and limited by language and convention.

In an art scene that has a tendency to fetishize the notion of individuality and rebellion, the idea that we are doomed to repetition and constraint is provocative: By bringing together a number of artists for this salon, and putting the emphasis on not just the finished 'product', but instead on the language and bodily interactions inherent in a group install, we hope to identify, address and question these arguments.

Bear in mind:

Since those rules are historical and rely on their continual citation or enactment by subjects, then they can also be challenged and changed through alternative performative acts.

(We are artists, after all...)


Butler, Judith. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex. New York: Routledge, 1993.

Butler, Judith. "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory." Performing Feminisms: Feminist Critical Theory and Theatre. Ed. Sue-Ellen Case. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1990.

Foucault, Michel. 1975. Discipline & Punish,:The Birth of the Prison. Translated from French by Alan Sheridan., New York: Vintage Books, 1977.

Searle, John R. Expression and Meaning: Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts. Cambridge: CUP, 1979


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