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.”