This exhibition explores the agency we have over our bodies, making reference to its precarity within social and institutional structures. Losing agency over our body has increasingly become a source of anxiety, confronting us on a daily basis. There is now an acute awareness of what is lying beneath, guiding us, and leading us to question the trust and credibility of structures that govern our present. How do we gain agency over our bodies, and what effect do external forces have on our remembered experiences?
The title of the exhibition, Wax Tablet, with connotations of language and imagery, is a philosophical analogy attributed to Socrates used to imagine memory as a physical process. This analogy depicts memories as impressions recorded through physically imprinting a tablet covered with wax, suggesting a malleable permanence.
Using the notion of memories as changeable physical structures we can attempt to understand how memories shape us, our remembered experiences, our forgotten or silenced ones, and our understanding of this process as somehow physical, visual, and yet editable. With this understanding, we may find a political act against our loss of agency.
The artists in this exhibition explore and challenge this present human experience through moving image, and language. The works provide a discursive entry point into a critical engagement on the impacts of information and trust on our histories, our bodies, and the structure of our memories.
Content warning: Party Line contains sensitive and explicit details regarding the Cartwright Inquiry and sexual, ethical and medical misconduct at the National Women’s Hospital.
→ Wax Tablet Roomsheet
→ To Be a Body: A Review of Wax Tablet – The Pantograph Punch
→ Whose Body? Whose Country? – EyeContact
→ Toeing the Party Line: an audio artwork about the Unfortunate Experiment – The Spinoff