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SHOW + READING "WAYFINDING": ALEX TURGEON, DERICA SHIELDS AND S*AN D. HENRY SMITH

25.11.22.

"Wayfinding" from November 25 to January 15, 2023.
Opening November 25 from 19:00 h to 22:00 h. Reading at 20:00 h

The group show Wayfinding explores different flows of identification and solidarity that originate within systems whose functioning is characterised by the isolation of parts, the delimitation of emotion and the reduction of the possibilities of belonging. Taking writing and language as their point of departure, the works of Alex Turgeon, Derica Shields and S*an D. Henry-Smith share an effort to saturate the constrained literality and spatiality of architecture, the archive and the administration of social life. ALEX TURGEON’s typewritten poems use the generative value of number 5 as a formal constraint. Each of the five urban landscapes repeats a phrase that calls to action and tests the fecundity of repetition and seriality. Memorize this city of hearts, Misadvice this city of narcs, Martyrize this city of tarts… Drawing together queer theory and concrete poetry, Turgeon understands the constructive condition of language and the poetic space of architecture in relation to the management of bodies. It is precisely the concrete and diagrammatic nature of the poems that distances them from their supposed coldness and opens them up to a variation that incorporates emotional and political states. In a/mass a mullllltitude or murmur/ation, an office table with herbs, handwritten papers, letters and books recreate the workspace of Ackee, the fictional researcher and author of Bad Practice. Bad Practice (Book Works) is the title of DERICA SHIELDS’s forthcoming book, which addresses how the herbal practices enslaved people used to administer their own abortions surfaces in the archive during Britain’s imposition of laws that coerced slave reproduction. The presentation of the project in Juf plays in archival absence, considering the solidarity, networks and intimacies that produced this herbal knowledge. Half hidden on the table is a hand-drawn birth chart dated March 1756 — like the recreation of Ackee’s desk, it offers a staging of the invisible that cannot be reduced to the visible. S*AN D. HENRY-SMITH accompanies their photographs with titles and poems that refer to hidden elements and mythological figures. The images suggest modes of socialisation in which there is a reciprocal and processual game of unstable elements. The double and unexpected duplications not only imply an encounter with the strange, but also highlight the need for protection and support within social life —Orthrus is the two-headed dog that guards Geryon’s cattle. For their part, the sacred and enjoyment are associated with responsibility and commitment, and point to these two elements as key components of community formation — Ace of Pentacles shows four hands intertwining a white thread in a pentacular form. Until one of the hands quits this apparent act of leisure, the sustained tension between fingers and thread generates a talisman.

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