S1 Artspace is pleased to welcome An Elastic Continuum, an international group exhibition & symposium presented by The ‘New Materialist Reading Group’ (NMRG) featuring the work of 17 contemporary artists, curated by NMRG co-leads Rebecca Howard & Victoria Sharples.
The works on show present a plethora of intersectional readings that transect ontologies of animacy and the sensorial, biotechnical interventions (birth, growth, ailment, and death), human, animal and plant bodies, and spaces of trans-ition, whether -gender, -species or interior-exterior relations).
In An Elastic Continuum, the premise of ‘skin’ is purposefully layered, aggregated and poriferous, as with epidermal and geological stratum, as seen in the work of Carter, Kempley and Lucas.
Clifford and Vann’s practices centre on protection and exposure of the soft body: PPE and chronic dermatological conditions. With a focus on façade, veneer and construction, the work of Fisher, Howard and Speed invite thought on the parallels between skin and built spaces through folds, pattern, and costume.
Sharples, Stanley, and Walker account for the liminality of skin and the body as a transitory site, whether that be in relation to buildings that temporarily store human bodies (as with mortuaries), or through interior-exterior relations (as with the mouth or uterus).
In place of the subject-object binary, the practice of Hamilton, Von Munchhausen and Barrett provide a more permeable and participatory account of matter, where material affordances yield questions of autonomy and the sensible.
And the work of Hughes, Squires, and Rushton signal the ways in which human and plant matters are intimately connected through physiology, sexuality, and the military-industrial complex.