ALL ABOUT YOU
Curated by Alex White
5 April – 3 May 2019
Private View: 4th April 2019, 6-8pm
The Koppel Project Hive
Image Detail: Ruth Waters
The Koppel Project Hive is pleased to present All About You, a group exhibition curated by Alex White featuring the work of five artists who address anxieties related to excessive self-imposed productivity in Late Capitalism. In a society in which certain individuals are privileged over others, we are forced into overdrive in order to survive financial precarity at the expense of self-care and looking after our peers.
The overwhelming pressure to achieve as individuals, maximised through technological advancements and the need to be constantly ‘switched on’, has led to a rise in neurological disorders such as ‘burn out’, anxiety and depression. As a result, the individual of Late Capitalism is left exhausted. With the rise of authoritarian politics, our increasingly individualistic society has brought us to a stand-still and an inability to collectively organize.
Through sculpture, drawing, video and performance, All About You posits collective therapy as a counter to increased individualism and the consequential feelings of alienation prevalent in today’s neo-liberal economy. The exhibition oscillates between the individual ‘you’ and the collective ‘you’, which the English language does not differentiate. It both implicates the viewer as a participant within the neo-liberal system, but also offers a potential mode of resistance through collective healing and shared bodily experience.
The works on view vary in subject matter tackling issues as broad as global capitalism and austerity to mental health, sexuality and gender politics. Referencing a feminist line of thinking in which the personal is political, the works ultimately return to the body and are linked through sensory interventions. Participating artists include: Ingrid Berthon-Moine, Julia Kouneski, Michelle Williams Gamaker, Olivia Hernaïz and Ruth Waters.
Alongside this exhibition, The Koppel Project Hive will host a series of live performances as well as an artist-led workshop by Julia Kouneski and Michelle Williams Gamaker.
Ingrid Berthon-Moine is a French visual artist based in London and Paris. Her sculptures and drawings resemble fleshy, disembodied genitals. A coalescence of bodily shapes, Berthon-Moine’s work calls to question the hierarchies within gender relations. As the bodily shapes are abstracted, they become gender-less. They reference both the anxieties induced by sexual identities as well as the radical potential of sexual pleasure.
Berthon-Moine graduated with an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London. She has recently exhibited at Kelder Projects (2018) and in various group exhibitions including at Beaconsfield Gallery (2018), Espace Témoin, Switzerland (2018), Världskultur Museerna, Sweden (2018) and ICA, London (2015).
Julia Kouneski is an artist based in Los Angeles. Her work investigates notions of empathy, embodiment, and the fluid self through video/film, performance and participatory workshops.
She received her BFA from the University of Minnesota and her MFA from the University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design. Her work has been shown in the US and in Europe, including Night Gallery in Los Angeles, Annka Kultys Gallery in London, and most recently c.off space in Stockholm. In 2017 she received the Rema Hort Mann Los Angeles Artist Community Engagement Grant, and she has recently guest taught and lectured at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and Macalester College in St. Paul, as well as co-taught workshops for students of Goldsmiths University, London with collaborator and lecturer Michelle Williams Gamaker.
Ruth Waters is an artist based in London. Her practice focuses on the ways ever-present pressures exerted upon us by late capitalist networked society impact our levels of anxiety. Her new film Emotion Over Raisin (2019) reconstructs a group therapy session, focussing on mindfulness meditation. Participants in the 8 week program are asked to stare at and then eat a raisin. The film both questions the efficacy of the exercise, but ultimately highlights the need for the seemingly pointless in a society where we are constantly forced to be ‘switched on’.
Waters holds an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London. Recent shows include Abracadabra, the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow (2018), White Shadows at Wumin Art Center, Cheongju, South Korea (2018); Seep at Peer Gallery, London (2017) ; Like Caramel That Has Melted and is Soft and Stretchy at Pump House Gallery, London (2017) ; Cacotopia at Annka Kultys Gallery, London (2017) and Solopreneur at Kingsgate Projects, London (2016). She was the recipient of the Goldsmiths MFA Studio Award 2016 including a grant and a year residency at Acme Studios.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS GAMAKER
Michelle Williams Gamaker is a moving image and performance artist based in London. Her work explores the fiction-making machine of 20C British and Hollywood studio films to reveal cinematic construction by recasting characters as ‘fictional activists’: Scriptwriting, workshopping with actors, acquiring film paraphernalia and producing props for the intricate staging of her film sets are all contribute to the re-enactment of the artificial landscapes that shaped Williams Gamaker’s love of cinema.
Collaboration is also a crucial element of Williams Gamaker’s work; since 2009 she has worked with American artist Julia Kouneski, revisiting the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark’s psychotherapeutic research as inspiration for interventions with the body, architecture and landscape.
Williams Gamaker graduated with a PhD in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London. Recent exhibitions include Women, Power, Protest at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (2019), Essex Road 5 at Tintype, London (2018), Screening of House of Women in the 62nd BFI London Film Festival, Experimenta (2018), Library Interventions: Moving Knowledge, Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds Art University (co curated by Michelle Williams Gamaker and Nick Norton) (2018), Freud Museum, Solitary Pleasures, Freud Museum, London (curated by Marquard Smith) (2018), Transmediale Festival: Face Value – White Balance and On Resentment (2018) and History Repeats Itself Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) (2018), Annka Kultys Gallery, London (2017).
Olivia Hernaïz lives between London and Brussels. Her practice questions the efficiency and legitimacy of human fictions. Her video installation, which shares the exhibition’s title All About You (2017), follows the attempts of international banks at rebranding after the 2008 Financial Crisis. Hernaiz composed a catchy ‘love song’, in which the lyrics are made up of bank slogans used to regain public trust. The result demonstrates the banks’ focus on individual achievement with mantras such as ‘Bank of America: Think what we can do for you’ and ‘Planters Bank: All about you’.
Hernaïz holds an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. Recent shows include Abracadabra, the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow (2018),The Gathering at Panthera Today, Brussels (2018) ; Cacotopia at Annka Kultys Gallery, London (2017) ; Solo exhibition As Long as the Sun Follows its Course, at Museum of Ixelles, Brussels (2017). In 2016, she won the first prize of “Art Contest” supported by the Boghossian Foundation and the second prize of Médiatine Competition (Brussels). In 2019, she is the belgian artist in residence at the Cité Internationale des arts in Paris with WBI (Wallonie Bruxelles International).
Small group artist’s workshop
Julia Kouneski and Michelle Williams Gamaker
Friday 26th April 2019 4-6PM
The Koppel Project Hive
The Koppel Project is delighted to be able to provide an intimate workshop with artists Julia Kouneski and Michelle Williams Gamaker. Utilising the breathing bags, or “collective lungs” featured in their video piece Collective Lung, Joshua Tree National Park (2018), on view as part of All About You, workshop participants will explore collective breathing and the relationship between self and other, as well as carry out somatic exercises related to the lungs and breathing. The workshop will also explore the breathing body in all its aspects – from the etymology of the word ‘breath’, to the cutaneous respiration of reptiles (breathing through the skin), through the symbolic associations of lungs with grief and catharsis.
The Koppel Project will host a performance by artists Julia Kouneski and Michelle Williams Gamaker in relation to their piece Collective Lung, Joshua Tree National Park (2018), on view as part of All About You. Utilising the window as a site and as a membrane between performers and audience, the artists will engage both gallery goers and passers-by, in a multi-faceted exploration of embodied respiration. Their actions respond to the growing sense of collective low-level panic felt across the globe today. As a result of our increasingly busy lifestyles, dehumanised labour conditions, and increasing struggle to connect we are more ‘disembodied’ than ever. If anxiety (characterised by a shortness of breath) is our current collective pathology, the performance asks whether collective breathing, in all its embodied intimacy, can carry us beyond this atomised state?