[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”3540″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”50px”][vc_column_text]PROSTHETIC
Bruton Place, W1
(now moved to 19 Motcomb Street, SW1)
The term ‘prosthetic’ is now attributed to the branch of surgery dedicated to replacing missing or defective limbs, but to the Ancient Greeks it was an altogether more assertive concept meaning ‘to add’, ‘to advance’ or ‘to give power to’. SHOWcabinet, the re-imagined gallery space,has embraced this original meaning and displays a range of artefacts that engage directly with prosthetics’ ability to adorn, equip and enhance.
Una Burke‘s leather sculptures create the foundation for the installation. Her inanimate bodies engage the language of the physical gesture. Each limb is constructed from countless, beautifully bound leather straps and resemble orthopedic braces or suits of armour. While offering protection or support, they also suggest that the encased body is a fragile system. This constant interplay between empowerment and restriction creates a fetishistic dialectic between invisibility and visibility, as well as denial and disclosure.
Alongside Burke’s work sit a variety of objects and artefacts which explore ideas surrounding prosthetics. Created during a dynamic collaboration between Aimee Mullins, Betony Vernon and Dorset Orthopeadics, the prosthetic legs that Mullins wore as a Chef de Mission for the Paralympic Opening Ceremony is on view in the cabinet. With the legacy of last summer’s Olympic games still fresh, the imagery on Mullins’ sculptural legs is powerful. A full set of wings run the length of each shin – a reminder of Icarus, and a nod to intrepid innovation. Mullins herself competed in the Atlanta Paralympic Games in 2006 sporting a pair of the then newly developed cheetah style prosthetics and has painstakingly spent her career giving a more positive and empowered face to disability.
Also featured in the cabinet is Kat Marks’ artefact collection ‘The Braces’. Inspired by her own experience of having to wear a Boston Back Brace to redirect the curvature of her spine in her adolescence, Marks has created 3 vacuum-formed thermo-plastic braces in various colours and styles. Remaining true to the original function of the brace, these stylised pieces hold the waist in tight and accentuate the hips, exaggerating a shape which echoes an hour glass figure. No longer does the brace read as medical accoutrement but rather speaks to fashionable ideals of beauty and sexuality.
Alongside these powerful anchors, there is an array of items from innovators in fashion and art who embrace augmentation and aesthetics in tackling the idea of bodily enhancement and extension. Medical anomalies and instruments were often housed in early nineteenth century curiosity cabinets. The show includes artwork by Una Burke, Aimee Mullins, Betony Vernon, Kat Marks, Patrick Ian Hartley, Dai Rees, Kyle Hopkins, Ana Rajcevic, Naomi Filmer, Tara Dougans and Yiqing Yin as a means to probe the potential in prosthetics. The display is accompanied by a series of events and discussion geared towards exploring the creative industries’ capabilities to expand perceptions of prosthetics.…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”50px”][vc_single_image image=”3541″ img_size=”full”][vc_empty_space height=”50px”][vc_single_image image=”3542″ img_size=”full”][vc_empty_space height=”50px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css_animation=”none” el_class=”with-link”] back to ART DIARY[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]