Curated by Catriona Whiteford, Freelands Artist Programme Curator the exhibition presents works by Etel Adnan, Susan Aldworth, Rachel Kneebone and Leonor Serrano Rivas.
An accompanying public programme will encourage viewers to consider the liminal space between consciousness in different cultural contexts. By considering this liminal space viewers will negotiate the contemporary politics of sleep and dreaming. The programme will also consider the impact of sleep, rest and memory retention and will look at the influence of these themes on interdisciplinary approaches to making across art, science and ecology.
Drawing on poetic, psychological and physical investigations, There, where we promenade looks at unconscious dream states negotiated through art, science and the imagination. The exhibition title is taken from Night, a book by artist, philosopher and poet Etel Adnan, in which the central subject of sleep is understood as a way to unearth memories that are held in the body.
Comprised of existing works alongside a newly realised installation by Leonor Serrano Rivas, the exhibition will present works brought together to explore how the inhabited body operates within the boundaries between conscious and subconscious states. Foregrounded within Freud’s psychoanalytic theorem that every dream happens in accordance with its interpretation, the collected works question the interplay between sleeping and dreaming. The resulting grouping of sculpture, paper works, moving image and installation will collectively create chambers or channels that open into one another.
In his 1974 book Dreams the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung stated that, ‘In each person’s past there are elements of different value which determine the psychic constellation’. Crossing the threshold of the gallery the audience will be met with a constellation of works that slowly reveal themselves to the viewer.
Etel Adnan is regarded as one of the most central cultural representatives of the Arab diaspora, and an initiator of the progression of female liberation. Adnan’s accordion-folded books, known as leporellos, which are painted from memory and folded with concertina-style pages are complex yet simultaneously simplistic. Through their use of pictographic scripts they release poetic narratives from memory, the textual and the visual.
Adnan’s Key Signs (2017) will be shown alongside Leonor Serrano Rivas’ 2018 film Estrella. Constructed from a fictional journey into the past where Serrano Rivas looks back at the poet and theatre director, Gregorio Martínez Sierra’s El Teatro de Arte and early twentieth century Spanish theatre, the film submerges the viewer in a combination of hypnagogic images and sound.
Rachel Kneebone’s porcelain sculptures; Act II (2016), Act III (2016) and The Area on Whose Brink Silence Begins (2015) address and question the human condition, operating in a near-subliminal space through their undulating porcelain slippage, and blurring the boundaries between the conscious and the subconscious. Kneebone’s works will continue the exhibition’s exploration of internalised experience and physicality.
This fascination with the body is also present in Susan Aldworth’s practice, which investigates the workings of the human mind, consciousness and our sense of self. Her experimental work in print, time-based media and installation includes ground-breaking etchings printed directly from human brain tissue.
Each of the four artists, linked by their literary, philosophical and cerebral investigations call us to consider the ways in which we live outside ourselves before sleep brings us back