Garden is proud to present Circlusion, Genevieve Belleveau’s first solo exhibition. Coined by writer Bini Adamczak, circlusion is a proposed antonym of the term penetration. Circlusion poses a speculative shift in the framing of sexual power and politics, assuming agency around the acts of enclosing, encircling, engulfing, and surrounding. Featuring works spanning a variety of media including photography, installation, sculpture, video and performance, Belleveau and her collaborators expand upon her ecofetishist BDSM practice – in this teeming, verdant world the dominant and submissive inhabit a variety of roles: gardener and plant, flower and florist, mycelium and tree. By exaggerating and aestheticizing the subject of Nature, Circlusion not only speculates new tools for giving and receiving pleasure, but also imagines new methods for propagating intimacy and redistributing power between and beyond humans.
Circlusion begins with Belleveau’s practice of vacuum bed flower pressings, in which Belleveau creates large floral arrangements over a live model who is then vacuum sealed in a life size latex envelope. A tool often used in BDSM play, the vacuum bed is a bondage, breath play and sensation device that encloses the model and almost completely restricts any movement, executed with a rigorous set of consent and safety protocols. By combining the vacuum bed with flower arranging, Belleveau transforms this act into a spa-like ritualistic process. Within this comforting, womb-like environment, hierarchies are flattened; the model sinks into the headspace of a pressed flower, just one of many plants in the bed. In this way, the sessions press the models into the two-dimensional, becoming objects-as-images. By performing the conventions of this practice non-traditionally, Belleveau transforms the role of malevolent master into artful and caring nurturer. Belleveau will perform a live vacuum bed pressing for the first time publicly during the opening of Circlusion.