What Time Leads The Willing Body To Do, featuring the work of emerging Venezuelan artist Daniel Rey, explores the heart of queer kinship. Daniel Rey’s work mirrors his personal journey, navigating the search for connections and belonging, a journey often shared by many queer migrants. Within these settings, the queer community often cultivates unconventional bonds, establishing alternatives to nuclear and heteronormative structures. Rey's work intimately uncovers the dynamics of these distinct relationships, emphasising their vital role in the queer experience during migration. This kinship emerges as a central thread in Rey's narrative in Collective Cuddles (2023), a documented performance that invites viewers to contemplate the significance of touch, intimacy, and tenderness. With cuddling, the performance reimagines the conventions of traditional masculinity and how bodies connect.
The title of his first solo exhibition, What Time Leads The Willing Body To Do, draws inspiration from the words of David Wojnarowicz from Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration (1991). Two other influences on Rey's work in Collective Cuddles are Melanie Bonajo's When the body says Yes (2022) and Felix Gonzalez-Torres' Untitled (1991). The latter’s iconic billboard featuring an unmade bed creates a powerful sense of intimacy in a public space. Rey's work in this exhibition engages with this influence, reimagining the perception of queer bodies and how they connect in unconventional environments. As these bodies embrace, the bed undergoes a transformation, becoming a platform for healing, sharing, and reconnection - with what has been lost and what is to be found.
Originally commissioned for New Contemporaries 2023 in Blackpool, this exhibition extends the initial performance by incorporating a new series of paintings.
Daniel Rey (b. 1990) is interested in challenging conventional constructs of masculinity and reshaping our understanding of societal norms. His recent work centres around the complexities of identity, queerness, and the interplay between space and queer bodies. His diverse practice encompasses ephemeral installations, performance, painting, and drawing. With a background in architecture, he draws from construction processes to deconstruct fixed identity categories, striving to give visibility to the marginalised communities he identifies and connects with. Venezuela's socio-political turmoil was a driving force behind Rey's migration to Europe as he sought a more accepting and liberating environment. While studying architecture at the Central University of Venezuela, he was offered an international exchange programme at The Polytechnic University of Milan, which solidified his connection to the arts. After 2020, in the wake of personal and global challenges, Rey decided to change his career trajectory and began pursuing a master’s degree in fine art at Central Saint Martins, which he graduated with in 2023.Downloads
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