30th January – 3rd February (Private View - 31st January, 5-7.00 pm)
‘Between: Mind, Matter and Materials‘
Media Coverage/Press Links
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Between is an exhibition that explores embodiment: who we are and how we are in invested in the structure of body and brain. New medical imaging technologies have made the body visually permeable as never before and created an explosion in anatomical knowledge. However, in this flood of material knowledge, what are the questions we should be asking of how these scientific representations enrich our personal understanding of ‘Self’? Susan Aldworth and Karen Ingham present a series of films that explore new and emerging meanings of embodiment – what it means to be ‘between’ mind and matter.
The works shown within this exhibition have been made between 2006 and 2012. The two artists first met when they were both part of a group exhibition at the Old Operating Theatre in London in 2006 and began an ongoing dialogue exploring their mutual interest in biomedicine and neuroscience in the context of subjectivity, embodied consciousness, personality and identity.
Responding to the extraordinary opportunity and potential offered by the digital screens within the Ruskin Gallery, it was decided to connect and compose multiple singular works a combined and collaborative field – using forms of correspondence and interplay to transform the Gallery walls, to give presence to half-imagined thoughts and make tangible notions of seeing and knowing. As the exhibition became real, the artists decided to each work with one side of the space to choreograph a series of works each within the line of screens and to share use of the large screen (the largest permanently installed in any gallery in the world) for consecutive works that depict also the differences between their practices. The projection screen over the high windows also acts as a shared and collaborative environment for showing works by both together in one linear perspective. As we watch we feel ourselves both inside and outside our bodies – playing with our inner and outer perspectives and sense of ourselves as being in the world.
Both artists approach the theme through distinct processes. Aldworth’s films reflect her keen engagement with neuroscience and philosophy, as manifested in her films and prints, which weave together medical, personal and scientific narratives to develop an understanding of human identity. For her films ‘Going Native’ (2006) and ‘Lines of Thought’ (2006), Aldworth worked on location with patients and neuroradiologist Dr Paul Butler at the Royal London Hospital. The film ‘Out of Body’ (2009) was made during her residency at the Gordon Museum of Pathology. Ingham’s interest is in the narratives behind scientific imaging and objects, and the overlaying of representations, voices, histories and meanings of embodiment. The digital films exhibited in ‘Between’ are ‘Narrative Remains’ (2009), made in collaboration with The London Hunterian Museum, ‘Variance’ (2011) in collaboration with The Francis Galton Collection at UCL and Vanitas Seed-Head made in collaboration with the Cardiff Neuroscience Research Group and the Waag, Amsterdam
Susan Aldworth – http://www.gvart.co.uk/artists.html
Digital representations of neuroanatomy have mediated an explosion in anatomical knowledge – the brain is visually permeable as never before. However, in this flood of material knowledge, what are the questions we should be asking of this neo-technical enlightenment in framing our personal understanding of self? Research in the laboratory has shed enormous insights into brain function, development and structure over the last decade. However, these contexts are often devoid of a sense of embodiment (characteristic of anonymised specimens in anatomical teaching and medical museum spaces and reams of digital data that symbolise human emotion). Between seeks to create dialogues across disciplines to explore a more embodied approach to brain science and anatomy. Consisting of three moving image works from each artist – Susan Aldworth and Karen Ingham – Between explores questions and notions of embodiment and disembodiment. Be it re-embodied organs as in Narrative Remains (Ingham) or disembodied brains as in Going Native (Aldworth), embodiment is once again a key concept in the quest to better understand the mind-body relationship. The works are in dialogue, with each other and with the locations they occupy. Between offers the opportunity for the public to engage with science through the arts, and also for practitioners to frame an arena for meaningful interdisciplinary dialogue across artistic, medical, educational and institutional fields.