On Innards | Amanda Couch, Andrew Hladky, and Mindy Lee
5th Floor Sherfield Building, Imperial College, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2AZ.
8 October – 7 November 2014.
On Innards is a multidisciplinary project developed by artists Amanda Couch, Andrew Hladky and Mindy Lee, that explores the changing conceptualisations of guts and digestion, their impact on the creative process and the role they play in constructing and destabilising our sense of self.
The project will involve an exhibition at Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, from 8 October until 7 November 2014, with an opening reception on 7 October 2014 from 6 until 8.30pm. To accompany the exhibition there will be a daylong multidisciplinary event at Blyth Gallery and Kensington & Chelsea Central Library on 11 October 2014 from 10am until 5pm.
On Innards | Exhibition | 8 October – 7 November 2014
The exhibition at Blyth Gallery will consist of artwork by Hladky, Lee and Couch exploring intestines, entrails, and the digestive process as material, image, and metaphor. They will show paintings, objects and prints that move between representation and realism, making reference to Gaston Bachelard’s claim that digestion ‘is the origin of the strongest kind of realism’. Central to the work is the desire to avoid the flattening effects of representation and encourage more embodied ways for people to encounter artwork. We hope to remind our audience of their physical presence in relation to images and language, as well as showing the inner workings of the image and text.
Cutting across media, Amanda Couch’s work uses the processes and lived experience of her own body as material and metaphor to create images and objects that are both visceral and narrative. Andrew Hladky is interested in the inner bodily processes of his paintings, revealing the conflict between their surface illusion and the lumpen material that forms them. Mindy Lee’s plated paintings are served as a cannibalistic smorgasbord of revived images regurgitated from historical painting.
On Innards | Event | 11 October 2014
Accompanying the exhibition Lee, Couch and Hladky will lead a participatory and experiential day-long event exploring multi-disciplinary perspectives on digestion, innards and the interior body. It will bring together researchers and practitioners from the fields of gastroenterology, cultural theory, art history, yoga, performance and fine art and the medical humanities, and participants to share knowledge and experiences. The event is free and open to all.
Recent medical research re-imagines the digestive system as a sensory organ and second brain, the site of our most direct and complex physical exchange with the external world. It has a profound effect on our mood and ability to function, but its reasoning remains largely inaccessible to our awareness. The idea that our guts lurk behind the scenes exerting a decisive influence on our actions is an unsettling one, challenging modern cerebro-centred images of selfhood and agency. This event will highlight some of the ways different imaginings of the gut can clash with customary ways of viewing our bodies and ourselves.
On Innards / Event is free, open to all and on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets should be booked in advance via Eventbrite, http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/on-innards-event-tickets-12834078073
On Innards is generously supported by University for the Creative Arts, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Imperial College and is a part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Celebration of Science 2014.