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Soothed by Solanne Bernard, 2021.
Photograph by Alessia Gammarota

Destructive Mollusc at HAZE

BY SARAH SCOTT

Dear Friends,

With the art world back in action after the summer break we are spoiled for choice of fantastic shows popping up across London. I visited 'Destuctive Mollusc' at Staffordshire St in Peckham, and spoke to one of the curators, Solanne Bernard. Investigating the idea of skin as a membrane, the show is full of enticing biomorphic forms and textures, from the sticky to the sublime, and is well worth a visit if you have a chance this week!

Solanne is a visual artist based in London and co-founder of HAZE, which was set up to enable an approach to exhibiting work which is more adaptive and fluid, creating a space both online and IRL without being tied down to one particular location.

The project enables group shows to be put on in alternative spaces with an aim of supporting and showcasing local and international emerging artists, giving them an opportunity to explore experimental directions within their practice.  

Soothed by Solanne Bernard, 2021.
Photograph by Alessia Gammarota

Solanne’s own practice centres on creating large-scale installations that merge the imagery of abstracted body parts and plants into hybrid sculptural form. These chimeric forms highlight how the fluidity and intertwinement of species create a sense of unease and visceral displacement in the viewer.

In this way her sculptures explore how subjectivity can oscillate between human/animal/plant and object, pushing the material to see what it can do as subject and finding ways to act out the complexities that exist between desire, violence and disgust.   

Installation view of 'Destructive Mollusc' at Staffordshire St.

Currently on view at HAZE is ‘Destructive Mollusc’, an exhibition that invites artists to investigate the idea of skin or membrane as both protective and restrictive. The impetus for the show was poet and philosopher Paul Valery’s declaration in his book ‘Sea Shells’ that 'a crystal, a flower or a shell stands out from the usual disorder that characterises most perceptible things'. In the text Paul takes solace in the geometric structure in these natural forms as a secure point in nature to meditate on.

The mollusc shell imagined in the title of the exhibition however, has the ability to feel more like a pressure cooker than a refuge, acting as an intimate cocoon that shields our own personal chaos and protects from outside turmoil. The skin doesn’t necessarily get crushed, but the pressure it endures is palpable.
 

With love,
Sarah

 

Sarah is a writer and is editor at culturala. She's especially interested in researching transcultual memory, and the effect of technology and news media on our experiences of world events.

 

The artworks featured at the top of this newsletter are by Solanne Bernard (b. 1991, Paris),  the very artist Sarah's written about based on the former's texts, bios and conversations. She runs HAZE together with her co-founder Camilla Bliss, and you can still check out the London exhibition until the 2nd of October. Otherwise, find out more about her work on her website solannebernard.com and instagram @solannebernard.

Installation view of 'Destructive Mollusc' at Staffordshire St.
CULTURALA RECOMMENDS

> All things Frieze London related, including our favourite Emma Talbot, and Frieze Sculpture garden which opens ahead of the big Frieze opening (October 12th) and is free. As per usual, London's full of other art activities at this time, such as...

> James Rogers' Gonna tell my kids this was marcus aurelius that plays with how digital assistants replace traditional studio practice: James uses a 3D scanner, Raspberry Pi and hacked printing machine to make sculptures and etchings shown amidst Benappi Fine Art's Old Mastery Gallery 7-22 October, W1S 4LZ, London.

> While in Lisbon, there's the Lisbon Architecture Triennale at Palácio Sinel de Cordes, MAAT, CCB and Culturgest in Portugal, on until the 5th of December (at maat only until the 5th of October for the opening which, I believe, is mainly happening outside). 

> Shade's newly launched podcast Interludes, produced by Lou Mensah and created by Axel Kacoutié. The first episode, Drexciya, responds to Phoebe Boswell's The Black Horizon: Do We Muse on the Sky or Remember the Sea? and features a performance by the the jazz saxophonist JD Dallen.

> Gertrude PRESENTS at the Truman Brewery, E1 6QL, London, an opening exhibition with over 40 artists. It's on until the 9th of October!
LET'S RECONNECT
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