It now exists as a set of sculptures (Sympoetic Tools), a series of somatic exercises and improvised movements, a film (Guttural Living) and a collection of automatic writings. It was first shown at Gallery FRANK, Littleborough.
The work is the result of an ongoing collaborative process of deconstruction, an ‘unschooling’ of the body.
Through intensive conversation, rolling around together and making forms of slippery things,
we found support where we usually feel oblique and this support is made visible in various ways through the finished works.
When starting out we asked ourselves: how do bodies orientate in the world? What shapes the way they move? How are they extended or limited in their desire or difference? Could tools for disorientation allow us to think differently together, about presence and relationality, in all its messy uncertainty?
How could moving differently be political?
The sculptures are made from a mixture of clay and bronze and surfaces are glazed, buffed and textured. They were made by fitting clay and plasticine to our bodies, under armpits, between thumbs and fingers. Other shapes were derived from man made tools and articulating joints as well as following our unconscious material desires.
These Sympoetic Tools form a strange spread and were created as a sensuous set of
hinges, hooks, hoops and holes
to prompt re-orientating movement and verbal and nonverbal conversations with our collaborators.
We have long standing
relationships with all the women who were present, each with unique care practices, relationships to their bodies and work to platform or support others.
The work was produced during an intensive three day residency (at METAL, Southend) which weaved together experimental movement, shared reading, automatic writing, late night dancing and discussions. Reoccuring conversation touched on sexuality, race, class, gender and disability, as well as the structures: political, physical and psychic, that support us, free us or get in our way.
A series of 'dialogues' with the tools were shot at the end of the residency around the building in Chalkwell Hall with the help of videographer Sophie le Roux. This now exists as a 30minute film, Guttural Living were the viewer is invited to witness fragments of these intimate, uncertain, gentle gestures.
The automatic writing produced together about the collaboration was translated as a score onto the walls of Gallery FRANK in March 2019. A playlist to accompany the work can be heard here.