July 7, 2022
Helen Pynor’swork ‘Habitation’ is touring to Western Plains Cultural Centre with the Experimenta ‘Life Forms’ International Triennial of Media Art from 2.07.22 – 18.09.22. The Triennial showcases works by Australian and international artists exploring notions of life, at at a time when technological change and new research findings are making definitions of ‘life’ increasingly difficult to ascertain.
Helen’s installation explores the collapse of the animate-inanimate boundary due to the wide spread use of medical prosthetics, prompted by her hip replacement surgery in 2019. Helen has created bone china, ceramic and photographic works using the bone material removed from her body during surgery, and her own archive of medical X-Rays and CT scans. Helen’s work takes up Monika Bakke’s notion of ‘lithic intimacies’: life’s intimate relationships of exchange and inter-species ‘companionship’ with minerals, and seeks to challenge perceptions of the body as a passive recipient of human-engineered implants. ‘Habitation’ was commissioned by Experimenta and supported by City of Joondalup, Perth.
Image caption: Helen Pynor, 2021, ‘Habitation’, unglazed bone china (made from the artist’s bone removed during surgery, supplemented by animal bone), unglazed earthenware, coral, felt, metal, acrylic, archival pigment prints, light boxes. Photo courtesy of the artist.
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