Items where Subject is "Sculpture"

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F

In Theodor Adorno’s writing the term “natural history” has quite a different meaning to its usual scientific usage. Adorno’s idea of natural history aims at reconciling, in form and in content, the opposing forces of nature and history with the aim of overcoming the division of natural being and historical being that Adorno considered to be the central problem of critical social theory. Through sprawling installations the French contemporary artist Pierre Huyghe creates new forms of interaction between natural systems and artificial constructs. Huyghe’s body of work is submitted to interpretation through Adorno’s dialectic of nature and history to establish the relevance of both Huyghe’s practice and Adorno’s thought to the conditions of the Anthropocene.

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R

Within and Between: Women, Bodies, Generations took the form of four sculptural installations staged jointly in 2019 with Janice Howard and Clair Chinnery at Glass Tank Gallery, Oxford Brookes University, UK.

The work drew on auto-ethnographic research which aimed to interrogate and reframe female bodily ageing. Each of the four large-scale works explored different stages of the artist’s life initiated by an active and embodied reworking of feminist paradigms and informed by thematic methodologies of practice-based and theoretical enquiries of women artists who have also addressed rites of passage, puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and representation (Kiki Smith, Womanhouse, Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, Carolee Schneemann, Julia Kristeva, Lucy Lippard, Luce Irigaray).

Representations of women’s bodily function have historically constructed women as subjugated by their embodiment, so incapable of rational thought. This has resulted in negative associations of menopause as problematic, barren, dried-up, unproductive and issueless. Through her work, Richardson raises questions about what remains unresolved and hidden as science, legislation and culture fall short of fully understanding and articulating ‘the change’.

Through her chosen methodology, Richardson responds to the urgent need for a fuller articulation by addressing and redefining the intergenerational space of maturing children and diminishing parents.
By generating positive connectivities, relations and exemplars, the research project offered a more dynamic perspective and associative visual language. Proposing the menopause to be a potentially rich and liberating developmental phase of life, the outcomes contribute fresh understanding that can be usefully acted upon through future cross-disciplinary collaboration and enquiry.

The exhibition was funded by Oxford Brookes University, and accompanied by a series of talks, gallery events and a bespoke website: lisarichardson.me

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