c-o-m-p-o-s-i-t-e is delighted to present Bonding in Whispers, a three-person show that brings together recent and new work of Vanessa Billy, Clémentine Coupau and Aniara Omann. As a whole, the exhibition could be said to have been brought forth in a post-ominous mode: made in a period after the first concretizations of unfavorable omens, tangible manifestations of what we had been warned of. With the predictions, facts and concerns put forward by the social, life and environmental sciences, we may well say that we live in a time abundant with signs from the future. Against this backdrop, and under the auspices of 20th Century science and other/ed fiction, Billy, Coupau and Omann present works that foster in/human alliances and resonate with growing matters of care and potentiality.
Bathing in the neon sunset of Temperatures, which tones the scene down with its lightish infusion, Hearth makes place like only hearths can. The setting is turned into a temporary container for assembly, talk and communality. Cooking food that is non-, not on a bed of coals, but one of tar. The deepest hue of orange known to be higher-grade commercial plastic dimly lights the fire. The hearth, at the same time the cradle of story, cultivation and home, is here turned into an uncanny allegory of dis/commodification and the im/possibilities of survival.
3, a steadfast mauve and turquoise skin tone breast piece made of silicone flesh, recalls the con~fusion of imitation, projection and substance. In merging the physical with the figural with the fabulated, matter and meaning rub off on each other. In that, 3 could well be a polysemic prosthesis: one that fuels discourse, one that extends the human body to transform identity, and one that transmutes body and identity by dissolving itself on a chemical level into flesh and blood.
Gathering around are the Shéhérazades, a totem of the female storyteller. First applied as strategic wit not to get killed by the king-capturer, Shéhérazade would tell tales for a 1001 nights. Later, in a surrealist excursion, the myth was reified as a pearl mask. Borrowed back from Magritte, the set of pearls now embodies all female writers working the soil for the earthly survival of womanhood. Though selectively distributed here, in practice the trinket-jewel is intended for widespread use. Hence the presented collection willfully hovers between pantheon and archive.
Faces and small hybrid collectives made of synthetico-organic molecular mesh adopt and relay Sci-Fi's ability to signal some otherwise-possible in the present and make stuff and stories into more collectively shared guesstimates of the future. Through their composition they break up our persistent dissociations between animate and inanimate matter, thus brooding over the vitality of dead life or “how to get up with dead things”. They may even suggest the potential emergence of an un/natural alliance between technologically and biologically generated life-forms in their struggle against human exceptionalism.
Is Love When You Don't Give Things a Name?, downstairs, continues to straddle the Big living/nonliving Divide. In an epoch where life is always already geologic, Is Love...? proposes an avenue to reckon with rocks beyond dead metaphor. Echoing a future geological past, where haunted rocks bear the in/animate traces of a ghosted humanity. It thus addresses the entanglements of human and inhuman life, deep time and becoming-ghost.
All in all, the works drawn together for Bonding in Whispers - with their queer melanges and interchanges of in/organic life forms, the soft and matte and shiny hues they emit, the mutual rubbing off of particles on ideas on ideas on particles, and the fabulated propagation of storied mind speech, ghost, rock and body talk - inescapably reach out in various directions at once to find non/specific resonance, only to stick around for a long, deep time.