Fanny Gicquel “do you feel the same” at Hua International, Berlin
Hua International is pleased to announce do you feel the same, an exhibition by the French artist Fanny Gicquel in collaboration with the choreographer Alice Heyward. do you feel the same is Gicquel’s first solo project with the gallery. Fanny Gicquel imagines the world less as a space of discrete, partitioned entities than as a dynamic constellation of interminglings, crossovers, and interferences. Conceived in close conversation with the choreographer Alice Heyward the exhibition do you feel the same articulates a series of sculptural-performative constellations that take the form of three “corporalities”—machine body room/dream body room/memory body room—all of which differently foreground the primacy of isolation and connection, and the slippages between these states.
The philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy describes the body as limit, an unfolding, a place where things happen. “Bodies aren’t some kind of fullness or filled space,” he writes, “they are open space, implying, in some sense, a space more properly spacious than spatial, what could also be called a place. Bodies are places of existence, and nothing exists without a place, a there, a ‘here,’ a ‘here is,’ for a ‘this.’” This border, the limit where the body takes place, as Nancy argues, appears in Gicquel’s work as a malleable zone that perpetually negotiates its edges or boundaries. What’s the relationship between your inside and outside? Do you ever dream of living in a house as big as your body? Do you think memory becomes blood in our bodies? Such questions emerge through an open-ended dialogue between performers as they carve abstract markings into large slabs of paraffin or break them down into smaller fragments in the memory body room. In the space of this cool, monochrome room, these collaboratively generated reflections draw upon a pool of memory that blurs the distinctions between individual and collective, intimate and generic. Interwoven, abstract textile forms dangle from two sets of curved brass armatures in the dream room/dream body. There is something vaguely corporeal about this delicate tangle of shapes, like skeins of deconstructed lounge wear that still retain some trace of the warmth of their wearer. In the machine room/machine body, suspended glass and fabric works surround four, open-frame steel sculptures that propose skeletal outlines of a domestic living space. The performers enact series of familiar, automatic-seeming gestures among these objects that nonetheless seem to have lost their referent: squatting, twisting, pressing, turning. This body-room, like the entire project, is a living organism, a space to be inhabited, continually re-configured through movement and touch. As Nancy writes, “the body makes room for existence.” The fleeting sculptural and gestural situations that unfold here question and reveal a porosity, an ambiguity between the intimate and the impersonal, interiority and exteriority, waking life and dreams to come to dwell in the space between what is hidden, what is shared, what is one’s own, and what is common.
At Hua International, Berlin
until Mat 15, 2021