Marhaug & Kelly: Liquid Bodeis, Solid Minds - exhibition & performances
The exhibition brings together Traci Kelly and Professor Rita Marhaug, two artists that investigate their own subjectivity in relation to socio-political economies and corporeal boundaries. The exhibition is on till 2 June in Rom8, Bergen.
Through differing approaches each artist creates a shared
language through mired and inky surfaces on skin, paper and other
materials. By exhibiting solo works together Kelly and Marhaug are
grappling to hold each other in view and create the context to
embark on a collaborative project.
Kelly has recently begun to collaborate with Bergen artist Rita Marhaug, professor at Bergen Academy of Art and Design, through the project "Topographies of the Obsolete: Exploring the Site Specific and Associated Histories of Post-Industry" initiated by Bergen Academy of Art and Design on the site of the abandoned Spode factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England. During her residency at USF Kelly will further develop collaboration with Marhaug and New York photographer Nisa Ojalvo. On a two week road trip from Bergen to Lofoten the three will elaborate themes from previous exhibitions, creating new works and new angles.
In preparation for collaborating Marhaug and Kelly have shown distinct bodies of work in a dual show From Where I Stand I Can See Youat the Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, UK. (Jan 2013). This dialogue will continue in Bergen in a shared exhibition Liquid Bodies, Solid Minds. From skewed trajectories and points of departure they will begin to both map and entangle practices to create a shared investigation into carbon.
In 'The Periodic Table' Primo Levi notes carbon as the element that binds all life on an irreducible level. It is the only trace that bodies and organisms will eventually leave. It is this deep poetry locked into all known forms and lives that Kelly & Marhaug seek to articulate through literal and metaphorical processes of carbon such as heat and pressure. They will consider carbon in solid and gaseous forms as material object and remains, and immaterial breath. The resulting body of work will be a reflection on life, subjectivity, states of transformation, loss and reinvention.
About the artists
Traci Kelly is artist-in-residence at USF Verftet April - June, is an interdisciplinary artist whose work roams fluidly between performance, visual and textual languages. Through poetic gesture and symbolic materials she questions the status of the corporeal body, its vulnerability and insistence, creating room for doubt and potential.
Working both solo and collaboratively her current practice revolves around ideas of skin as a site of encounter and of writing a subject into being, with the spacings between touch and untouch creating a ground for subject invention. Her long-term collaborative project with Richard Hancock (hancock & kelly) forms an established exploration into the politicized body.
Traci Kelly will be performing with Performance Art Bergen on 2 June at the Museum of Leprosy alongside Denis Romanovski, Stein Henningsen and Mia Øquist.
Traci Kelly has a doctorate from The University of Reading gained with a project that investigated intersubjectivity and collaboration as a methodology for live art practice; and has presented work throughout Europe, Australia, North and Central America. She also works freelance as a lecturer and mentor in addition to curating the Lace Market Gallery in Nottingham.
For some years now Rita Marhaug has worked with the series Norwegian Liquid investigating the (female) body and its relationship to national wealth and the fluids that drive the Norwegian economy. In a previous work, a lone body stands on the shoreline neither stranded nor sea bound. The body seeps liquid - black oil in the same quantity as blood that courses through the artist's veins. The skin surface appears disrupted and unruly, dissolving and reinventing geographical and corporeal boundaries. In addition to the clear political aspect the works in the Norwegian Liquid series also reference moments within performance art; the body as a sculpture, the body as canvas and formal compositional devices. The very next year the situation first described was turned the other way around: The person does not seep black oil, but dives into a bath tub situated on the shore. The content of the tub is on barrel of black oil. Marhaug has been making images relating directly to the Norwegian economy over some years, based on petroleum and recently gas, derived from fir oil present on Norway's continental shelf. Norway is renowned for its untouched and breath-taking natural environment and therefore its pursuit of sustainable energy and industry development.
Monday 27 May 6 pm performance and artists in dialogue with artist Laurel Jay Carpenter, USA.
'Liquid Bodies, Solid Minds' at Rom 8 Wedesday 22
May-Sunday 2 June.
Opening 22 May 7pm.
Tuesday-Friday 12-6 pm
Saturday-Sunday 12-4 pm
Image: Traci Kelly & Rita Marhaug, performance from the
chapter 'Holding On By Letting Go', Stoke on Trent, March 2013.
Photo: Bjarte Bjørkum