Our sense of touch is linked to a part of the brain called the postcentral gyrus. The phenomenon of “phantom limb” – the uncanny sense that an amputated body part is still attached – is also thought to originate in neurological changes to this area, when nerves associated with the now-absent limb send signals that trigger sensation. Language around amputation emphasizes lack, but what about the prosthetic extensions that come to supplement a body in its new form?
POSTCENTRAL situates bodies as expanded territories, whose malleable parts might encompass prosthetics, strap-ons, or domestic robots. As corporeal space is extended outwards by technologies that aim to make life easier, and which support or reshape our bodies, what critical lines should also be drawn to shield us from capitalist incursion? What altered possibilities for sex, reproduction, and desire are simultaneously opened up?
The work of the artists assembled in POSTCENTRAL touches on the question of where “the body” can be found and where it might be heading, with a focus on non-naturalist ideas of women’s and queer bodies as spaces of futurity and potential.
As Donna Haraway foretold in 1985, the exhibition stands “for pleasure in the confusion of boundaries and for responsibility in their construction. (from the press release)
POSTCENTRAL, a group show curated by Navine G. Khan-Dossos, NOME, 22.06 – 22.07.2019
Artists: Zach Blas, Jesse Darling, Marjolijn Dijkman, Antye Guenther, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Kirsten Stolle, Addie Wagenknecht, and Xiyadie
images: (cover 1) Lynn Hershman Leeson, «Camera Woman», 1986. Silver gelatin print 51 x 61 cm. Edition 2/8 + II AP. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, NY (2) Antye Guenther, «No structure, even an artificial one,enjoys the process of entropy», 2018-19. Five ceramic objects (glazed, embossed text into the inner surfaces), script. Courtesy the artist (3) Jesse Darling, «Compartment Syndrome (hanging in there)», 2017. Grip bar, plastic bags, plastic tube, zip tie. 167,5 × 124,5 × 13 cm. Courtesy the artist (4) Xiyadie, «Joy 乐», 2005. Papercut with water-based dye and Chinese pigments on Xuan paper 36,5 x 36,5 cm (5) Marjolijn Dijkman «In Our Hands», 2015, HD double – channel video, colour, stereo audio, commissioned for Global Immaginations, Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden University and National Museum of World Cultures, Leiden