Opening in March, our new exhibition features two female artists who both use technology and classic tropes of fairy tale storytelling to create artworks that are alluring and repelling, sensual and troubling.
Eminent American filmmaker Ericka Beckman and emerging artist Marianna Simnett - whose work reaches across more than forty years - present strikingly different forms of visual storytelling, but share a deliberate foregrounding of the female body as a main player in the densely layered fantasy worlds they conjure.
Ericka Beckman uses the imagery, style and language of early computer games - as well as the rigid structures and rules of gaming - to examine the perceived need for women to adhere to societal norms in order to achieve what is expected of them. The characters depicted in her films are seen never fully succeeding in satisfying the requirements of the “game” they’re in, providing a critique of the limitations and demands placed on women in society. Both films rewrite fairy tales using the innovative technology of the 80’s to explore female identities in our post-industrial world.
Marianna Simnett’s visceral language combines mythology and surgery to create tales of morality. Themes of corruption and innocence depict illness and disease, commenting on gender divides in our cultures. Through video and installation, Simnett challenges how bodies are perceived and imagined against a repressive society of control.