Among other things, I’ve taken up smoking presents artists who are exploring different perspectives on gender and sexuality. The group exhibition is curated by Jesse van Oosten. and included the works by All the Cunning Stunts, Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Alberto García del Castillo with Steev Lemercier & César Segarra, Angelica Falkeling, Hannah James, Alex Mawimbi, Floriane Misslin, Olle Lundin, Rory Pilgrim, Julius Thissen, Geo Wyeth.

Hannah James presents an installation of three film and sculptural works, The Whole Family, Heads and Claire’s. The installation explores the relationship between gender and domesticated and captive animals through focusing on agency, power, empathy and care.

The Whole Family presents a conversation held with a group of women living in Southern France together with footage taken at Rotterdam zoo and photographs of motorbikes in public spaces. The film explores gender and familial structures as inherited, performed and often oppressive structures.

Heads is a collection of hanging or slumped anthropomorphic forms: either having been emancipated from their weighty bodies or carelessly decapitated. The ‘heads’ are made from female head accessories, plastic bags and pet food. Heads enact the desire to enforce ownership, passivity and sexualisation onto those that are denied agency.

Claire’s is an architectural structure constructed of plastic bags and earrings bought from the eponymous retailer. Claire’s® is one of the leading producers of fashion jewelry and accessories for female teens, tweens and kids aged from 3 to 18. Due to this demographic the products are both infantilising and sexualising.

Together these three works question the capacity for empathy and care within structures of power and vulnerability, ultimately asking if there is a possibility for agency within these contexts.

 

 

Hannah James, “Heads”, 2017; Pet food, plastic bags, eye masks, rain hats, hair clips, bracelets, cable ties; Dimensions variable
Hannah James, “Claire’s”, 2017; Claire’s® plastic bags and Claire’s® earrings; Dimensions variable
Hannah James, “The Whole Family”, 2017; excerpt from the film, 9,45’ Thanks to Pauline Gransac, Pauline Testi and Victoire Barboloose