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Slippery Bodies

9 - 14 February 2019

Yetunde Olagbaju, Bryony Gillard, Eleanor Flowers

Curated by Phoebe Cripps


Bodies that slip between time, between histories, between lineages threaded as ritual through fibrous matter. Fingers unlacing locks, building shared space between heads unravelling and stories unfurling. A reason that some people adopt the term to ‘yarn’ – a knitting, a purling of experience, usually between women, that snags like wool and slips between stitches. These small ceremonies of post-performance, that heal the self after the trauma of daily living, archived through our mothers and grandmothers, the same knotted knuckles disentangling twisted memories, woven records of embodied time.


Unknuckled, unjointed bodies that slip like jellyfish, fluid as fluids – bodily, viscous, messy – seeping between form and unform. These bodies are leaky, permeably exposed, and yet reaching towards others, towards the support of kin. They are the ‘tentacular ones’ that ‘pulse beyond the visible, sayable, thinkable’. Only in this otherworldly space (a space beyond our definable space) can we hold ourselves and our selves in this psychic embrace. Science fiction, speculative fiction, speculative feminism, sexual futures. We deliquesce. The daily subjection of living as a feminist body necessitates improvisation: a liquid mental state where we are supported by other wes. The jellyfish experience is reciprocal creativity, enacting our webbed genealogy of tentacles time-travelling queer and watery histories.


Bodies that slip between the myths of archetype. The mammy, the caregiver – her spiritual but desexualised being. The stripper accepting the slipping of notes whilst slipping through the system, unaccounted for and imperceptible, like Mammy Two Shoes’ face always poised outside of the frame. Employed for the healing of others, the soothing of power, performing a memory of structures assumed to objectively exist. Images that stick in social consciousness; the stickiness of ways of self-healing beyond: ink that suggests the presence of a limb; honey that both washes and cloys; language that rewrites past traumas into alternative futures. All of these stories passed down between bodies, tentacles of care that leak new myths, spelling our ability to alter time.

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