09. June - 04. Juli Sydney

MOUTHFEEL

Hillerbrand+Magsamen, 'Coffee & Milk' 2005, SD video with sound - 4:20mins looped, edition of 3, courtesy of the Artist and Brenda May Gallery, Sydney
Elizabeth Willing, 'Lick' 2009, digital video -17:07mins, edition of 5, courtesy of the Artist and Brenda May Gallery, Sydney
Hannah Raisin, 'Rose Garden' 2009, single channel video - 5:06mins, edition of 3, courtesy of the Artist and Brenda May Gallery, Sydney
Nina Ross, 'The Foreignness of Language' 2011, HD video - 8:25mins looped, edition of 5, courtesy of the Artist and Brenda May Gallery, Sydney

The term Mouthfeel is defined as the physical sensations created by food or drink. This exhibition intends to stimulate a synesthetic reaction of the viewer by showcasing a selection of artistic films, all dealing with this particular sensation called Mouthfeel. The artists use their mouth in order to trigger the sense of taste and touch by ingesting edible and inedible substances. The exhibited films are documentations of artistic performances. Mouthfeel starts with the work of Elizabeth Willing (Australian, Berlin-based); her 17 minutes long film Lick follows the tradition of earlier endurance performance works. In her artistic performance, she dedicates herself to the monotonous task of licking through an entire pane of sugar. The viewer does not only notice the evident soreness in the artist’s jaw and mouth, but also Willing’s increasing reluctance to take in more of this sweet substance.

What follows is Coffee & Milk, a relatively light-hearted work that was directed by the couple and artist duo Hillerbrand + Magsamen (United States); this short film only shows the mouths of the artists, who keep blowing coffee and milk into swirling patterns. The spectator can only see the lips of the artists and sometimes a glimpse of their hair, but the act of blowing and expelling air into milk and coffee gives the film a kind of sexual and intimate touch. While the viewer observes the sensual movements between husband and wife, he finds himself in a voyeuristic situation.

The third film by Hannah Raisin (Australia), Rose Garden, shows the female artist while eating a bouquet of roses. She roughly rips off the smooth petals from the thorny stems by using her teeth until nothing but the blossom remains in the end. The film Chocolate by Martynka Wawrzyniak (Poland) starts with a close-up of the female artist lying on her back. A stream of liquid chocolate is poured over her body until she involuntarily starts to cough and sputter to expel the mass of chocolate.

The sequences are closed with the film The Foreignness of language by Nina Ross (Australia), a meditation on language and learning. The female artist reads out Norwegian words that are written on a small note only to subsequently crumple them up and put them in her mouth. The film goes on and it becomes more and more difficult to understand what she is reading due to the growing number of paper balls in her mouth, which rustle and crunch every time she moves her jaw.

The exhibition Mouthfeel will launch in the summer at the Brenda May Gallery in Sydney, Australia, and will be open to any interested visitors until July 4th, 2015. The exhibition is curated by Megan Fizell, an Australian art historian and manager of the gallery, who specializes in the representation of food in the visual arts.  Her previous curatorial projects include Sugar, Sugar (October 2013), an exhibition featuring contemporary art made exclusively with sugar and Art + Food (October 2012), which explored the representation of food beyond the standard still life tableaux.

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