Seminal Work Exhibition Runs : 22 September - 31 October 2013
TAP is pleased to present Seminal Work, an exhibition with Tom Duggan and Marianna Simnett. The show addresses originality and influence in a climate of permanent change, with an emphasis on biological and reproductive labour.
Duggan and Simnett both explore relationships between the human body and the environment. The legacy of singular identification is interrogated through methods of appropriation, role-play, reenactment and reattachment. The body, as a boundary between self and other, paradoxically appears to leave its trace in the very structures that are defined as separate. Animals and technology, which are classically seen to come either before or after the human, are shown to be a complicated set of networks that resist easy categorisation.
Duggan adopts material from the Internet, drawing upon his relationships with people ‘behind the screen’. A twenty-year-old porn star confessing her tried and failed retirement is reenacted by the artist in Promises (2013). Occupying a position of both viewer and performer, Duggan implicates himself between empathy and manipulation. The private act of watching bedroom porn is shown to elicit a complicated trajectory, with abuse being a potential requisite of entertainment.
Simnett explores the interplay between animality and domestication. In Dog (2013) a puppy training class is attended by the artist and an older woman, who is trained along with other dogs. Domestic performances to camera interrupt the linearity of the narrative, such as a male backside being licked, and the artist’s endured attempt to hold her mouth open, causing a gagging effect. Any identifiable protagonist is undermined by the conflating storylines that at once link and dismantle the various relationships throughout.
Both artists will show new video works at TAP. One explores relics of the Internet, the quiet voices from lost or unseen videos; the other portrays the intimate bond of breastfeeding and the intense dependency between two bodies.
Tom Duggan & Marianna Simnett chaired by Alice Hattrick
Alice Hattrick is a writer and producer based in London. She graduated from the MA in Critical Writing in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art in 2013, where she conducted research into ZG magazine and co-published After Butler’s Wharf: Essays on a Working Building. She co-founded CAR, which experiments with the essay in live and recorded form, now based at the Woodmill in Bermondsey. Working primarily in audio, her essays and interviews have appeared in numerous publications and journals, most recently Inherent Vice (PAMI) and The White Review.