Delighted to announce a three day exhibition and event series 'States of Living: Architecture, Objects, Body' with visual artist and performer Alexandra McGregor, and writers/performance artists Hanna Gia Louise and Mae Diansangu.
Architecture reflects states of rapid regeneration and new developments are often a sign of progress for a city. Where the old collides with the new, the preservation of social and cultural histories is often lost or in ruins. This suggests that architecture is far more than simple bricks and water; these structures reveal the histories, hopes, power struggles and culture of the society we live in today. The project has focused on commissioning new works from artists with critical feminist perspectives to investigate the political conditions of architectures in Aberdeen.
The exhibition showcases a new body of work from Alexandra McGregor in response to the Aberdeen comb factory that once stood on Hutcheon Street as a site of the city’s industrial past and the use of comb imagery in Pictish stones embedded in rural North-East landscapes. Through a collection of new drawings, sculpture, film and performance Alexandra takes advantage of slippages in historical truths and North-East folklore to explore female potential historic and present. Channeling the power of a site, body or object, disrupting archives or paying homage to an ancient land goddess venerated by the Picts. The work unearths cultural histories, untangling and questioning to situate allegories of the present and post female.
‘Intersections’ by Hanna Gia Louise and Mae Diansangu is a series of written and visual representations of womxhood, body and urban environment. Through this collaborative process the work explores how two queer bodies intersect with one another, the built environment and heteronormative, patriarchal spaces. It comments on the tension between the narratives which are inscribed on ‘female’ bodies and the personal, subjective narrative of those bodies. A selection of the images were developed in collaboration with Hannah and Mae’s friend Lise Bos, a non-binary analog photographer, based in Aberdeen.
All events are free, however their are limited places. Please use the links to book a space.
Friday 17th January. Preview night. 6pm – 9pm.
Performance of ‘The Comb Crone’ by Alexandra McGregor 7pm
Saturday 18th January. Opening hours 10 – 5pm.
Talk from Jenny Brown from AAGM on the history of the combworks in Aberdeen. 2-3pm.
Sunday 19th January. Opening hours 10 - 4pm. 2-3.30 pm Public reading group of speculative fiction writer Ursula Le Guin’s ‘The Carrier Bag theory of fiction’
This project has been made possible through Creative funding from Aberdeen city council.
Queen Street, Aberdeen
Alexandra McGregor is a visual artist and performer based in Aberdeen. Her work explores feminine rites and traditions seeking out and questioning the present and post female. The narratives within her practice are embedded in historical material with her performances acting as recording mechanisms that seek to unearth ideas around the contemporary female.
Alexandra graduated in 2017 from Gray’s School of Art and from 2017-18 was Graduate in Residence for the Contemporary Art department. She has exhibited at the RSA New Contemporaries (2018) at the Scottish National Gallery Edinburgh, and ‘Positive Geographies’ as part of the Look Again festival (2018). More recently she has exhibited and performed in group exhibitions organised by Nomad. Alexandra currently works as a volunteer Gallery Assistant for Grampian Hospital Arts Trust at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Hanna Gia Louise & Mae Diansangu
Hanna Gia Louise is an anthropology student, writer and performer who explores queerness, sexuality, relationships and adversity through autobiographical performance poetry.
Mae Diansangu is a performance artist who uses spoken word and music to explore queerness, gender and race - particularly their intersections and the liminal spaces they produce.
In 2018 Hanna and Mae co-founded the arts collective and performance night Hysteria, which showcases the work of women and non-binary creatives in Aberdeen. They are part of the city’s emerging underground queer performance scene where art and activism merge to elevate queer feminist perspectives.
hysteria instagram: @hysteriaABDN
hanna instagram: @anthr0boi
mae instagram: @maemondo_369
Fertile ground is the curatorial platform for Rachel Grant. A curator based in Aberdeen, in the North East of Scotland. This blog is kept up to date with selected project activity and research.