7 November 2018 – 12 January 2019
a collaborative show by Lindsey Mendick and Paloma Proudfoot
curated by Marcelle Joseph
For a man wins no better prize than a good
woman, and none more chilling than a bad one--
always hunting something to devour.
And no matter how strong he is,
she roasts her man without fire,
and hands him over to a raw old age.
- Anne Carson ‘Dirt and Desire: An Essay on the Phenomenology of Female Pollution in Antiquity’ (2000)
PROUDICK is the first collaborative exhibition of artists and friends Paloma Proudfoot and Lindsey Mendick. Drawing from the tradition of celebrity-couple portmanteaus, the artists have rebranded themselves Proudick for the duration of the exhibition. Like the personal lives of Kimye, Brangelina and Bennifer, Proudick will offer up their private lives as tabloid fodder through still-life installation and performance, drawing from the world of Greek myth through to the work of Tracy Emin and Sarah Lucas.
We petrify our subjects: casting or simulating organic matter into clay. Fired and lacquered with glaze, they are hardened but still liable to shatter. Like Medusa, freezing our victims in anger, imposing stillness in our ceramics whilst a writhing unsure mass ourselves. - Proudick
Greek mythology often speaks of the danger of the female presence, with mythical women frequently violating the masculine form: melting, morphing and freezing them in an amorphous sexual desire. Proudick will create gothic souvenirs of these moments, extending and castrating everyday objects into the anthropomorphic protagonists of these stories. Oversized Jane Norman bags, oxblood eels, drooping bowling pins and oozing jacket potatoes become the contemporary echo of Medusa and her sisters. Like the portrayal of woman in myth, the works are porous: they bleed, seep, leak and swell.
Our desire to gain control through stillness bleeds into our life as friends. We take screenshots of text conversations with thwarted ex-lovers, freezing the evidence of their inadequacy. We turn this petrifying glare towards ourselves too, capturing and sharing our faces in hungover withdrawal, obsessively analysing seemingly inconsequential moments that spawn whole periods of self-disgust. Bile, drivel and love streamed through iMessage. - Proudick
Through the lens of friendship, Proudick’s sculpture will fuse with self-portraiture into a singular, cohesive new body of work. Looking historically to Tracy Emin’s My Bed (1998), with all its tabloid controversy, Proudick give thanks to the inspiration it gave them to become artists by reappraising this work in the form of two parallel single beds. The artists will explore the connection to Emin further, mirroring The Shop, a collaborative project between Emin and Sarah Lucas in the early 1990s. Stemming from friendship and a need for respite, the two artists created a haven of free-spirited creativity in Brick Lane, a shop that transcended the studio and defied the trends that flooded the art of the time.
Like Emin and Lucas, Proudick will create effigies to their friendship, monuments to the dishevelled bedroom and the leaky woman. The sculptures will commodify their failures: the dirty cups and plates that reside and cower beneath the bed, posters that adorn bedroom walls, and knickers that unfurl as simultaneous trophies of the night before and spectres at the feast.