26 November 2020 – 25 January 2021
I Like to Watch is an online exhibition of short film and moving image works by artists, filmmakers and independent porn-makers using the camera to explore desire, voyeurism, pleasure, connection and intimacy in the digital age.
If cinema is the “pervert’s medium” (Zizek, ofc), then there is no better way to explore our collective desires than watching moving image. In ‘Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema’, Laura Mulvey argued that “cinematic codes create a gaze, a world, and an object, thereby producing an illusion to cut the measure of desire”. But while Mulvey argues this gaze is oppressive – structured by the unconscious of the patriarchy – I Like to Watch proffers an alternative use of cinema’s innate scopophilia: one that can liberate and unlock repressed desire, pleasure and alternative expressions of sexuality.
The artists and filmmakers in this exhibition use film as a medium to express longing, (dis)connection, fantasy, repulsion, tenderness, celebration, ambiguity, self-expression and autoeroticism. Rather than punishing cinematic depictions of pleasure, it seeks to explore ways in which pleasure can give access to power, but also accepts the complex nature of this pleasure and its relationship to vulnerability and abjection.
The featured films in I Like to Watch seek to restore agency to traditionally desired subjects by putting them in front and behind the camera and exploring the liberating potential of perversion.
Exhibition dates: 26th November 2020 – 25th January 2021
*Lina Bembe screening only from 26th – 30th November 2020
Curated by Rosa Abbott / Liquid
︎ View the online exhibition here
16 January – 23 February 2020 | Zabludowicz Collection
Artists: Alvaro Barrington, Varda Caivano, Nir Evron, Richard Ayodeji Ikhide, Laura Lima, Mohamed Namou, Nam June Paik, Seth Price, Hiraki Sawa, Raqib Shaw, Nobuko Tsuchiya, Francis Upritchard and Saya Woolfalk.
“No horizon, no edge to liquid explores the concept of cultural hybridity as a space in which cultures meet: where bridges are built between societies through the processes of communication, negotiation, and translation. The exhibition includes work by thirteen artists, all of whom were born outside North America or continental Europe, although many have since immigrated there. Encompassing a diverse array of media – painting, sculpture, video and installation – the exhibition explores how varying forms of hybridity can manifest through artworks: it might be expressed through materiality, the blending of traditional and new media, the dialogue between two cultures, or the interplay between art/craft, high/low or popular/elite.”
For the public programme, we organised a drawing workshop by artist Richard Ayodeji Ikhide, and a series of reading groups looking at critical and fictional texts linking to the theme of cultural hybridity. I hosted sessions on Ocean Vuong and Nella Larsen, and co-hosted a session Clarice Lispector with Gaia Maggio.
Curatorial team: Rosa Abbott, Krishna Balakrishnan, Kateřina Čuprová, Celina Loh, Hao Long and Gaia Maggio.
︎ Exhibition webpage here
We [ breathe ] in the space between
1–17 November 2020 | MIR Project Space
Artists: James Bryant, Chan Ka Kiu, Kathryn Graham, Wu Jiaru, Kwan Q Li, Muyao Li, Flavio Mancini, Jun Wang & Bonnie Wong, Ben Yau, Camille Yvert, Mamoru Watanabe.
“Presenting new work by 12 London- and Hong Kong-based contemporary artists, we [ breathe ] in the space between is an expanded exhibition responding to issues of in-betweenness, modernity, and urbanity. Traversing multiple disciplines, it includes artists working across sculpture, audio/visual and digital installation, performance and product design.”
Curatorial team: Rosa Abbott, Krishna Balakrishnan, Issy Casey, Kateřina Čuprová, Nina Lissone, Clara Wong, and Siyan Zhang.
︎ Exhibition website
1 August 2020 | Hackney Marshes
An evening of poetry, readings, performance and ritual in Hackney Marshes.
Readings/performances by Rosa Abbott, Jacques Baumgartner, Foivos Dousos, D Mortimer & Riana Patel.
A gin cocktail made with foraged herbs and berries was offered as a gesture of hospitality.