a bone, a flesh, a daddy’s nest
With texts by Jennifer Kate Shields & Joanna Neumegen
And curatorial assistance from Bridget Riggir
// Opening Wednesday 13 July, 6pm
// Thursday 14 – Saturday 30 July 2016
Was I Human? The Human is a normative category that indexes access to power… somebody that is implicitly assumed to be masculine, white, urbanized, speaking a standard language, heterosexually inscribed in a reproductive unit, and a full tax paying citizen of a recognized polity… So Posthuman, very welcome! What a chance for those who were not Human to begin with … Of course, it is not that simple. Because those who were not Human to begin with … do not make it to the great control room of the great Posthuman mutation.
— Rosi Braidotti
By asking us to remember that we were not all Human to begin with, Rosi Braidotti reminds us that post/non/in/trans/-human endeavors seek labours that preexist—labours that have long belonged to subjects of the margins.
A current medley of Post-anthro discourses promise futures of difference, futures without class or gender, race, labour, or even mortality. But as scholarship and as industry—coming from the centre and those at it—such promises of “transcendence” are too easily given and too hard to believe.
What of those who were not Human to begin with? What of the labour of lived difference? What happens to stories of exclusion, and to histories of violence, when the future on offer is one that already forgets?
Where do worlds, in which the Human was never the centre, go? And what of the bodies we have made defiantly, the birdsong we have understood, the kisses given by their lips when ours would not reach?
a bone, a flesh, a daddy’s nest reclaims such Posthuman notions from “a future of difference” into a lived labour, politics, and joy of now. While forms from distinct worlds, Perry’s and Songsataya’s imagings together show that embodied knowledge is the place of true difference and change. Like the misremembered quote making its title, this exhibition places agency in the body and intuition of the present.
A ‘reading table’ will present literature that has informed this exhibition and its collaborators. We invite you to come spend time reading in the gallery.