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HomeVenues ArchivesBluecoat ArchiveBluecoat: Left Hand to Back of Head, Object Held Against Right Thigh

Bluecoat: Left Hand to Back of Head, Object Held Against Right Thigh

Saturday 23 January 2016 – Monday 28 March 2016
Left Hand to Back of Head, Object Held Against Right Thigh

Exhibition launch event: Friday 22 Jan 2016, 18.00 – 21.00

Artists: Becky Beasley, Rowena Harris, Mary Hurrell, Natalie Finnemore, Hannah James, Mitra Saboury, Marianna Simnett, Marie Toseland.

A group exhibition of physical and assertive work that sets out to affect the audience through sensation and emotion.

The artists use film, video, installation and sculpture to form relationships between artworks and the bodies of the audience. This dynamic extends to the title of the show, which may act as an observation, suggestion or direct instruction. The exhibition explores how we can encounter art as a felt experience, over and above our capacity to rationalise.

Saboury and Simnett explore visceral relationships between the human body, objects and processes. In her work Pothole, Saboury languorously manipulates a piece of asphalt inside her mouth. Simnett’s film Blue Roses derives narrative from medical processes on the operating table. Intimate relationships are formed in these works; objects penetrate the skin and affect the body from within. Other works in Left Hand to Back of Head… anticipate the audience’s movement. Natalie Finnemore’s sculptures function as architectural barriers that choreograph the gallery visitor while acting as a support structure for sculptures by other artists.

Much of the work included in Left Hand to Back of Head… shares methods of communication with contemporary dance and movement. A related performance and events strand runs through the programme inviting dancers, philosophers and writers to make their own responses.

This is the first show by Adam Smythe, Bluecoat’s new Curator, who joined the organisation in July 2015. He is interested in “how art can produce material affinities with our own bodies. Just as we feel the presence of a dancer, so too can art affect us in the same manner that the beat of a drum might compel us into motion.”

Adam adds: “The exhibition draws on the context of Bluecoat as a centre for the arts, an organisation that hosts an array of art forms. Bluecoat continues to enable dialogue between artistic disciplines and this exhibition seeks to articulate the many connections between visual art and performance.”

Related events:

Fri 22 Jan 20.00
Mary Hurrell – Movement Study 4 (Dorsal/Breast)
Hurrell’s performance piece features a sole performer following a minimalist score. The score is also used to choreograph light and sound around the performer in this intense study of movement and feeling. This event takes place during the exhibition launch. Free, no booking required.

Sat 23 Jan 14.00
Exhibition Tour: Mary Hurrell
Artist Mary Hurrell and Curator Adam Smythe lead a tour of the exhibition.
Free, no booking required.

Wed 27 Jan 18.00
Philosophy Talk: Dr Joel Smith – An Introduction to Phenomenology
In response to Left Hand to Back of Head… Dr Joel Smith, Lecturer in Philosophy at Manchester University, gives
an introduction to the field of phenomenology – the study of experience and consciousness. Dr Smith will talk about key thinkers whose work has run parallel to this artistic enquiry such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Tickets £3/£2.

Wed 3 Feb 19.00
It’s What You Don’t Say (That Counts)
Members of LIC (Liverpool Improvisation Collective) create new movement work in the gallery.

Thu 11 Feb 18.00
Performance: My Back Is All Around Me
Artists and writers Marie Toseland and Katarina Hruskova perform readings of their work, using the human voice to connect our bodies to the architecture of the gallery.Tickets £3/£2.

Wed 17 Feb 18.00
LJMU Writers Workshop Present: Physical
Join us for readings from poet Andrew McMillan’s recent collection of poems Physical –
a raw and urgent hymn to the male body newly published. Dispensing with conventional punctuation, McMillan is attentive to the quality of breathing, giving the work an extraordinary sense of being vividly poised and present. Tickets £3/£2.

Sat 20 Feb 14.00
Exhibition Tour: Natalie Finnemore
Exhibiting artist Natalie Finnemore leads a tour of the exhibition. Free, no booking required.

Mitra Saboury, Pothole (asphalt), video still, 2014. Courtesy the artist.