THE BLOODY CHAMBER
Lucia Quevedo, Nils Alix-Tabeling, Justin Fitzpatrick
Curated by Hannah Thorne
8 February 2017 – 18 March 2017
The Koppel Project
“A long, a winding corridor, as if I were in the viscera of the castle; and this corridor led to a door of worm-eaten oak, low, round-topped; barred with black iron… The key slid into the new lock as easily as a hot knife into butter… If I found some traces of his heart in a file marked: Personal, perhaps, here, in his subterranean privacy, I might find a little of his soul. It was the consciousness of the possibility of such a discovery, if its possible strangeness, that kept me for a moment motionless, before, in the foolhardiness of my already subtly tainted innocence, I turned the key and the door slowly creaked back…”
Angela Carter, ‘The Bloody Chamber’
‘The Bloody Chamber’ is the title of a collection of re-imagined fairy tales by Angela Carter. The eponymous story, based on the tale of Bluebeard, has a prohibition at the centre of the narrative: the protagonist can go anywhere she wishes in her new husband’s castle, with the exception of one room. When she finally opens this door, the Bloody Chamber reveals itself in a grotesque scene of mutilated corpses and viscera. Hidden within the gilded perfection of the castle, it is a grisly remainder. ‘The Bloody Chamber‘, like much of Carter’s writing, interrogates the fluidity of sexuality, the zones of influence between humanity and animality, and the constant metaphorical potential in living bodies and the architecture and landscape that surrounds them.
In Lucia Quevedo’s work, we see the structure of the gallery itself start to anthropomorphise and express fluids. Shiny metal pipes, suggestive of plumbing, start to leak bile, blood and tears. Brightly coloured puddles of silicone rubber form from orifice-like rips on the metal surface. The logic of the cartoon is applied to the architecture and oddity of the space.
In Nils Alix-Tabeling’s film ‘Melusine’, the porosity of the membrane between the viewer and the actress is foregrounded. The viewer is represented in the film by a latex head that the actress finds on the side of the road, soon realising that it houses cameras and microphones, recording everything she confides to it, her most personal thoughts. Her personal relationship to this object has a crack in it, namely the aperture of the camera, which leaks her whispered secrets out to us, the viewer.
Justin Fitzpatrick will present a selection of paintings, which focus on the relationship between inside and outside of the body. The paintings depict a variety of animals, and the idea of animal consciousness, or of a radical otherness that is expressed in the space between human and animal existence, Animals describe the state of becoming in a variety of ways, they x-ray themselves, begin to dream, or learn to write with their bodies.