Homotopic: External expressions of the worlds that live within us
28th November – 3rd December 2023
Gallery 3, 4 Cromwell Place, London
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any enquiry.
Culture& is delighted to announce Homotopic: External expressions of the worlds that live within us at Cromwell Place, an exhibition curated in collaboration with Pacheanne Anderson, Culture&’s associate curator-writer, consultant and gallerist who produces arts and cultural events that prioritise the careers of low-income, Queer, Trans*, Black & POC Artists.
About Homotopic: External expressions of the worlds that live within us
Homotopic; two objects are said to be homotopic if one can be continuously deformed into the other, for instance, a torus and a mug. The concept is used in computer science for its flexibility and adaptability. The exhibition proposes to use the connotations of malleability, adaptability, shapeshifting and fluidity of “homotopic” to explore strategies of negotiating ever-changing queer ways of being and belonging today.
Acknowledging the gendered and racialised experiences explored in the artworks, we are using “homotopic” to contest the boundaries of identities prescribed by fixed categories, which are temporal and shaky. Homotopic presents a constellation of narratives around transformation and invites audiences to hold space for envisioning queer ways of identifying solidarity and community outside of the normative languages.
The works in the exhibition aim to present expansive projections of the ever-transforming natural body and mind through changing or altering its physical states between the digital, psychological, and spiritual space. Using interesting and tactile materials, many of the artists are re-evaluating or questioning the temporality of queerness and its relationship with hetero-norms and forms, which have been imposed onto them through physical or emotional trauma(s).
In response to their perceived physical identities, by removing these restricted views of self, understood by external heteronormative experiences, artists are playing with ideas of distortion, transformability, and inconclusive notions of anti-queering the body to present whimsical, refreshing and sometimes grotesque physical embodiments in the works.
The exhibition aims to express abstracted forms which feel as if the artist might be replicating, reflecting, or interpreting their skin, bone structure and cell structures. It challenges external expressions of the nuanced experiences between what is understood as fluid gender and sexuality, whilst putting a magnifying glass to the internal and physical. The following quotes from José Esteban Muñoz and Sara Ahmed have influenced our thinking when curating this exhibition:
“Bodies that fail to conform to a rigid category find hope through disidentification – a strategy that opens up the potential of discovering new ways of being, which renegotiates hegemonic representations of identities, bringing forward how these narratives both erase and exclude difference, and use them to empower marginalised subjectivities.”
(Muñoz, 1999, Disidentifications)
“To queer use, to enable some to take up residence in spaces not built for them, often requires a world-dismantling effort.”
(Ahmed, 2020, Use is a Life Question)
Alexander Ikhide, 2021, Camouflage I , Collage on paper
Dr Errol Francis, Culture&’s Artistic Director, said:
‘We are honoured to collaborate with independent curator Pacheanne Anderson and Cromwell Place. This show delivers Culture&’s mission to open up arts spaces to more diverse practitioners and audiences. The theme of the exhibition references queerness not as a mark of oppression but as a unique viewpoint of the work that gives us insight into our present and our future.’
Pacheanne Anderson, Curator, Writer, and Consultant, said:
‘I am very excited for this opportunity to bring so many queer and trans artists into a contemporary art space such as Cromwell Place. It is the perfect opportunity for collectors to come into contact with these artists, which they might not ordinarily be exposed to.’