this light, toxic
Dionne Brand, Dorota Gawęda & Eglė Kulbokaitė,
Barbara Hammer, Diana Policarpo and Leticia Ybarra
Curated with Alejandro Alonso Díaz
Intersticio is pleased to present ‘this light, toxic’, a group exhibition curated with Alejandro Alonso Díaz. The show presents works and poems by Dionne Brand, Dorota Gawęda & Eglė Kulbokaitė, Barbara Hammer, Diana Policarpo and Leticia Ybarra. The exhibition is accompanied by a text written by Alejandro Alonso Diaz.
This exhibition has been possible thanks to the generous support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).
In this light, toxic a world of interconnected particles unwinds through light and sonic vibrations. The different parts of the self are entangled in multiple processes of toxicity: from the physiological to the environmental, from the psychic to the sensorial.
The exhibition examines how our perception is embedded in toxic objects and bodies through our corporeal membranes, senses, and tissues. Isn’t “light pollution” an euphemism for the pollution of human, animal, and plant vision? Doesn’t this coy expression build on an ancient analogy between the inner luminosity delimited in the eye and the immeasurable light of the element, notably fire?1
this light, toxic is a proposition to engage with the profanation of silence and the perversion of imagesas they cut across multiple levels of existence. Breaking through our dreams, pesticides, relations, metaphysical dimensions, radioactive materials, sounds and shadows, the smell of toxicity, like a poisonous flower we breathe in, becomes us.
Alejandro Alonso Díaz (ESP) is a curator, writer and researcher whose work explores the metabolic encounters between natural, social and poetic structures of knowledge. He is the founding director of fluent, a para–institution dedicated to artistic research. His writing on art, moving image and nature has been published in magazines including Frieze, Terremoto, Mousse and several exhibition catalogues. His practice is concerned with epistemologies around notions of environmentalism, love and neo–feudal communality, often grounded in an enquiry into other forms of existence, and rehearsing radical ways of otherness. He has curated and participated in projects for the Serpentines Galleries, London; Matadero, Madrid; Chisenhale, London; 18th St Arts Centre, Los Ángeles; the Athens Performance Biennale; Tenderpixel; Fundación Botín; P/////AKT, Amsterdam and Jupiter Woods among many others. Currently he serves as an associate curator at Fundación Sandretto Re–Rabaudengo.
Dionne Brand (CA) has a legion of literary credentials. Her latest novel, Theory, won the 2019 OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature, and was a Globe and MailBest Book. Her latest poetry collection, The Blue Clerk,was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and won the Trillium Book Prize. Her collection Ossuarieswon the Griffin Poetry Prize, and other collections have won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Among her novels, In Another Place, Not Here was selected as a NYT Book Review Notable Book and a Best Book by the Globe and Mail; At the Full and Change of the Moon was selected a Best Book by the LA Times; and What We All Long For won the Toronto Book Award. In 2006, Brand was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing, and from 2009 to 2012 she served as Toronto’s Poet Laureate. In 2017, she was named to the Order of Canada. Brand is a Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. She lives in Toronto.
Dorota Gawęda (PL) and Eglė Kulbokaitė (LT) are an artist duo established in 2013 and based in Basel (CH). Their work spans performance, installation, fragrance, sculpture, video and drawing. They have exhibited internationally including: Swiss Institute, New York ( 2020); Den Frie, Copenhagen (2020); MWW, Wroclaw (2020); Kunstverein Düsseldorf ( 2020 and 2016); Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (2019); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018); MMOMA, Moscow (2018); Kunsthalle Basel (2017); ICA, London (2017); MOMA, Warsaw (2016) among others. Their recent solo shows include presentations at: Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf (2020); OnCurating, Zürich (2020); Body Archive, Zürich (2020); Trafo Gallery, Budapest (2020); Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London (2020 and 2018); Fri Art – Centre d’Art de Fribourg / Kunsthalle Fribourg and Wallriss (2020); Futura, Prague (2019); Lucas Hirsch Gallery, Düsseldorf (2018); Cell Project Space, London (2018). Upcoming exhibitions include: Swiss Performance Award, Le Grütli, Geneva; Lucas Hirsch Gallery, Düsseldorf (solo); Istituto Svizzero, Milan ( performance); Swimming Pool, Sofia (solo) . The duo are also the founders ofYOUNG GIRL READING GROUP ( 2013 – ) and co-initiators of it’s online archive hosted by ARIEL, Copenhagen.
Barbara Hammer (USA) was born in Hollywood in 1939. Her documentary and experimental films are considered among the earliest and most extensive representations of lesbian identity, love, and sexuality. Accompanying her career as a filmmaker, Hammer has time and again worked with performance and installation. She has participated in group exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial in 1993, the WACK! show at MOCA L.A. and MoMA PS1 in 2007/2008. With film retrospectives at New York’s MoMA in 2010 and the Tate Modern, London, in 2012, the artworld’s interest in Hammer’s work has recently increased. Hammer has been a teacher for many years and held a professorship at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee (CH). She died in 2019.
Diana Policarpo (PT) is a London based visual artist and composer whose work consists of visual and musical media, including drawing, score, sculpture, acoustic composition, performance and multi-channel sound installations. She finished her MFA at Goldsmiths in 2013. Her work investigates power relations, popular culture and gender politics, juxtaposing the rhythmic structuring of sound as a tactile material within the social construction of esoteric ideology. She has recently had solo exhibitions at GNRtion, Biennal of Contemporary Arts, Braga, PT (April 2019), Belo Campo / Galeria Francisco Fino, Lisbon, PT (2018) or Kunstverein Leipzig, DE (2017). Her work has also been included recently in group exhibitions at Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas (MACE), Elvas, PT (2020) or Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), Lisboa, PT (May 2019). Policarpo has presented performances and readings at Passos Manuel, Porto, PT; Kunsthall Oslo, NO; LUX – Moving Image, The Lexington, Tenderpixel Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Cafe OTO, Pump House Gallery, IMT Gallery and Whitechapel Gallery in London.
Leticia Ybarra (ESP) is a poet, artist and curator. She runs the department of Literature and Thought of La Casa Encendida (Madrid, Spain), where she also curates the festival ‘Gelatina’, among other projects. She is shortly publishing her first book of poems with Caniche Editorial (2021). Her poetry and artistic work deals with universes around the child’s world, of dreams, fantasy and religion, appropriating its nonlinear fecundity to deal with trauma, their relation with the body or the concept of death; as well as to explore questions of reproduction and non-normative architecture. Recently, her work has been exhibited as part of ‘pen pressure: a show of poetry, fantasy and faith’ in Haus Wien (Vienna, September 2020), PoemRoom (Madrid, March 2020), This is Jackalope (Madrid, December 2019) or Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporánea (Valencia, September 2019).