Sixty years or so have passed since the American artist Yvonne Rainer carved her way into the world of dance, film and art. Rainer used her body as a tool to create new and unexpected actions and performances, which were rooted in the patterns, movements and matter of the ‘everyday’. The body for Rainer was an apparatus which presented infinite possibilities. The body was the source material.
11th June, 2020. I turn my laptop on. Reluctantly. It takes a while to start and It feels like groundhog day, sitting in my daughter’s bedroom, silent in front of the screen.
Phoebe Sommerfield and Holly de Looze appear.
We look at photography. We talk about photography. We discuss the body and the monochrome image and the home and repetition and feminism.
Here, the studio is expanded. For Somerfield, it feels as though the landscape is the studio, and the body is the landscape. The body is also architecture and it is reclaiming space and histories. For de Looze, the body is entangled in the complex history of the home, in repetition, in writing and in oppression. Significantly, instead of perhaps running from these, the body confronts these and uses these materials to untangle and break free. An imaginary exhibition swirls around in my head of work by Sommerfield and de Looze, along with Rebecca Horn, Rose Finn-Kelcey and Valie Export.
Ou Lin and Julia Kawala appear.
We talk about fashion, about family and about dreams.
We talk about the virus, about London, about relationship and aspirations. We talk about aboriginal masks, the NHS and Personal Protection Equipment. We talk about craft, loss and disappearance. For Lin, the body is interpreted as a form of kinetic collage, presenting both friction and synergies with new fabrics and the urban space. For Kawala, the body is tightly bound to performance, to dance and the stage. It is driven through generational collaboration. The body is bruised whilst simultaneously bounding into the future with intent.
These conversations and images give me energy and stir memories of my own childhood.
Dulcie Bennet, Cassie Scotting and Dina Patey appear.
We talk about the digital body, the powerful body, the mortal body, the fluid body.
We talk about repetition, pleasure and terror. We talk about labour, about identity, territory, abstraction and matter in the world. These pictures are compelling. I see them, but I also feel them. For Bennet, the body is mediated, transformative and inventive. For Scotting, the body is a wonderful contradiction of power and fragility. In her pictures, it is forever youthful. For Patey, the body is everything and nothing. It is abstract, it fragmented, it is continuous and it is one with the world.
The human body is entangled in ones' understanding of identity and the world around us. These seven emerging artists, along with their peers, are all carving their way into the world. Their apparatus is the body, the lens, the land, the workplace and the home.
Everyone disappears. Thank you for leaving your images and inspiration.
Tom Lovelace is a London based artist, working at the intersection of photography, sculpture and performance. Central themes to his research and visual inquiry encompass the collaborative histories of photography, the semantics of the everyday and the role of minimalism within contemporary visual culture. His activities are underpinned by interventions and interruptions of the unexceptional with a specific focus on the relationships formed with the connected languages of abstraction and minimalism. Residencies include London South Bank University (2019-2020), Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2017), Allegra Projects, Switzerland (2017), Lendi Projects, Switzerland (2015), European Capital of Culture, Aarhus, Denmark (2013) and the Anna Mahler International Foundation, Italy (2012). Lovelace is a Tutor at the Royal College of Art and London South Bank University.