hold my hand by the tail
Louis Blue Newby & Laila Majid
6-28 July 2019
Preview: Friday 5 July 6.30-9.30pm
Gallery opening hours: Friday-Sunday 12-6pm
‘this world had never been sufficient for you; to go beyond the boundaries of flesh has been your occupation and so you had become nothing, a wraith that left only traces of silver powder on the hands that clutched helplessly at your perpetual vanishings’ Angela Carter, 1977
Flesh affirms the physicality of the corporeal form. The dermal boundaries that contain our bodies provide the least means of escape, denying the potential for bodily transformation. The desire to negotiate these challenging material boundaries is the starting point of this enquiry by artists Laila Majid and Louis Blue Newby.
Latex and silicone take precedence in this show, as materials of sensuality and tactile desire. Both evocative of and used by the body, used to manufacture body implants, prosthetics, fetish-wear and sex toys, such materials signify the emergence of a new flesh. They allow us to expand our boundaries, pushing outwards from the inside, until perhaps, like the alien baby gestating within John Hurt’s chest, we break through. The use of these materials to produce prosthetics, within the cinematic context of body-horror for instance, builds on this desire to transform the body. Through these processes we are transported outside of the limitations of our conceived realities, extending beyond our perceived corporeal capabilities.
Laila Majid uses digital processes in order to build networked structures that are situated at sites of intersection and exchange. Slimy liminal zones (such as those between object and image, synthetic and natural, and optic and haptic) articulate how that which is undefinable can be both uncomfortable and seductive. She explores the ways in which imaging technologies have become synonymous with manipulability, rendering that which they document elastic and formless.
Louis Blue Newby’s practice often takes its aim at existing cultural artefacts, appropriating visual imagery and the written word. Through conflation, these items become decontextualised, allowing for new narratives to seep through. These stories seek to unveil alternative possibilities, that exist outside of the essential beliefs (perpetuated by the Western cultural canon) that surround our bodies, how they operate and what they can signify.