As our mythologies materialise in the configuration of our bodies and the trajectories of our thinking, we are neither innocent nor alone; yet we are aware of the ontological responsibility of our myth-making, and accept it with gratitude. The narratives we create of ourselves affect, and are affected by those of others. Some — in a close proximity of a single breath. Others — slightly further, yet still in contact, just a couple of thousands years away. Some — smaller than a bacteria. Others — larger than a planet. All would matter equally in our practice of self-mythologising.
Here, on the overlap of countless fragments of individual mythologies, we ourselves come to matters, take a lifelong breath, and dive deep into being. We are a Mother-and-Child Machine. Milk, ink, and some paint dissolved in the salty waters. We are the Sun and the Moon and the Earth, entangled in the meaning of Equinox. We are the Mermaid, the Mer-creature; and the many Ursulas who made the posthuman waves on the surface of Feminist theory, which you are currently surfing with joy. We are the vivid colours of Cosmos, splashed and expanding on a book of your favourite Fairy Tales. We are the Never-ending Story; the limbs, roars and shiny furs of all your beautiful dragons: imagined, and desperately needed.
We are the constellation of impossible, nevertheless lively and capable hybrid creatures, called into being by artists Margo Trushina, Zoë Marden, Elisa Carutti and Hannah Campion. Here, as we are gathering to celebrate the vernal Equinox, the objects we make, the magic spells we utter, the encounters we catalyse will become the intermediate outcomes of the gift of self-mythologising — actualised it in art making.
In her artistic research, Margo Trushina interrogates the critical condition of humanity today, on the verge of disembodiment and climate catastrophe: swimming deep in data while physically drowning in melting ice. Tracing the changing exposure of selfhood in relation to a cultural shift towards environmental ethics, she works to translate Posthuman Feminism theory in her art practice. The artist’s personal experience of becoming a mother here helps to convey the idea of more-than-human interconnectivity and transformative together-ness of being — as it is manifested in the new body of her works.
Zoë Marden works with performance, video, text, sound, sculpture and installation to create alternate worlds and speculative futures. Her work is research-based and is concerned with where intersectional feminism overlaps with the post colonial. Her intimate performances play with the voice, activating soundscapes of desire and vulnerability. Her current research looks to the Lo Ting, a mer-creature, a mermaid and the alleged ancestor of the people of Hong Kong. The figure of mermaid that blurs boundaries between women and fish, femininity and ferocity, land and sea, human and other. They appear in stories as a creature that is neither here nor there, neither human nor fish. A gender fluid figure for the queer imagination.
When she works, Elisa Carutti keeps on adding layers of paint until she feels it is the time to subtract them. Her destructive action would last for a very short time, blending colours together and stripping layers. Its long-lasting results would be the fragmented, distorted beings. They would not belong to any specific era, history, or culture – even though they would remind of many. The tragedy of their impossible existence is grounded in their timelessness: they embrace the fragments of all times. Due to this timelessness they are cursed to remain the myths: the impossible creatures that seem invincible on the canvas, yet are forever imprisoned in the realm of the artist’s fantasy.
Hannah Campion reverses the usual hierarchy of painting: by turning the paintings themselves into a wayward, swarm-like, fully animate entity that escapes from the traditional canvas and spreads into the surrounding space. The body-multiple of Campion’s paintings consist of endless surface, twisted like a Möbius strip: they are made of lovingly reconstructed aluminium, canvas and paper. As it spreads in the room, it conquers and devours; walls, floors, ceilings, furniture and air become charged with the intensity of colours and tension that marks its presence.
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