Sidsel Meineche Hansen‘s practice consists of Computer Generated Imagery in Augmented and Virtual Reality formats, video documentaries, sculptures, prints, drawings as well as seminars and publications that constructs what she describes as “techno-somatic variant of institutional critique” – a study of the body and specific modes of production, within our present techno industrial complex.
The two animations on view at Company feature a hyper-sexualized female avatar named EVA v3.0. Made by freelance 3D designer Nikola Dechev, EVA v3.0 is a royalty-free product that the artist purchased on TurboSquid, a company that supplies stock 3D objects for computer games and adult entertainment. Manipulating this ready-made avatar, Meineche Hansen perverts mainstream 3D adult entertainment and the incorporated ways in which sexuality, gender and pleasure is used as currency in the exchange between tangible, visual and virtual worlds.
Positioned at the entrance to the gallery, Meineche Hansen’s CGI animation, DICKGIRL 3D(X) (2016), is presented on a flat screen, suspended from a wooden BDSM structure with reference to performance artists Sheree Rose and Bob Flanagan’s sadomasochistic practice. Directed by the artist, produced with digital arts studio Werkflow Ltd, and set to a blaring soundtrack titled “Exotica” by Nkisi, the animation features EVA v3.0 in ‘genitalia props’ and ‘pose sets’ used for animating post-human sex scenes in cyberporn. Whereas the original purpose of the avatar’s codified body is servicing sexual appetites within a patriarchal cycle of profit, Meineche Hansen’s work cracks open the potential for a new narrative. We watch as DICKGIRL 3D(X) unabashedly gestates, pants and operates a sex toy to sculpt an amorphic mass into the object of her queer desire. This perceptual repositioning is further demonstrated in Meineche Hansen’s second CGI animation on view, No Right Way 2 Cum (2015), a feminist ‘cum shot’ in Virtual Reality, installed on a floor mounted flatscreen with a headset. The work was made in direct response to the double standard of the British Board of Film Classification’s ban on female ejaculation in UK-produced pornography. Here, Meineche Hansen positions the virtual body in a live relationship to the game engine as EVA v.3.0 perpetually masturbates in brazen self pleasure. Powered by this machine and with a booming soundtrack titled “Selfplex” by Kepla, EVA v3.0 is in ecstasy when her orgasm resolves in CGI cum trickling down the screen, forming the title of the artwork.
Analisa Teachworth ties personal experience and allegorical histories into a unique lexicon used to address the materiality and mythology of displacement. Drawing upon her upbringing in the landscape of abandoned post-industrial Detroit, Michigan and her Puerto Rican ancestry, Teachworth explores collective states between disembodiment and vivifying emptiness. Her storytelling methods reveal how our technological systems function to define our intellectual and physical economies, magnifying tensions with a particular focus on the history of femininity and post-colonial edict.
For Company, Teachworth presents an adaptation of Tribute Pallet (2019), an installation made up of a sound piece and animations. The 3D renderings projected onto the gallery walls allegorically intertwine a narrative between modern aesthetics and products of digital labor. These avatars exist as beings in between worlds that share attributes with humans, animals, and spirits. Physically they are projections, but emotionally, they are deities within a liminal realm who transition from life to death and back to life again. Their anthropomorphized bodies celebrate and expose collective stress, sacrifice, and relief via their choreography.
Through curated voices, harmonies, and rhythms by different vocalists and musicians, the language within the score represents aspects of various interconnected ideas that beget the artist’s personal experience. While inspired by a collection of diverse histories, people, places, and stories, it was written and composed primarily in 2018 in the wake of a devastating category five hurricane that hit Puerto Rico, the artist’s ancestral home. Reflecting upon the worst natural disaster to humans ever recorded in that part of the Caribbean, Tribute Pallet is a promise to the Island to deliver a message of grief, sadness, and joy in the midst of a great struggle. The four channel sound installation in this work speaks to the complexity of inert cultural systems – such as electricity and capital distribution while offering perspectives on what progress aspires to be and the necessity for transformation.
Collaborator: Jason Ebeyer; Animation, Nick Weiss; Sound Production; Vocals: Star Amerasu, Najah Lewis, Chango4.
Shuang Li’s work, which includes performance, interactive websites, sculpture and moving image installations, studies various mediums which make up the contemporary digital landscape. Situated in globalized communication systems and inspired by uneven information flows, Li’s work explores how different forms of technology bring us into contact with one another. This interaction between the medium and its user forms an intimacy that Li sees as central in analyzing the neo-liberal framework that regulates the body and its desires.
Projected onto the ceiling of the gallery’s lower level space, Æther (2021) marks a continuation of the artist’s reflection on personal subjectivity and its entanglement with an increasingly immersive and omnipresent online culture. Li connects the imagery of the ring light – a device commonly used by bloggers, cam models and a proliferating group of those now working from home and living on screens – with that of the annular solar eclipse. Reflecting upon the contradictory relationship between the body and its digital representation, the concept of leakage is an underlying theme that runs throughout the visuals and written script of the film. The sphere of the ring light and that of the solar eclipse overlap to become a kaleidoscopic orifice through which we as viewers engage in both digital and corporeal experience.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen
Jun 24th–July 29th, 2022
COMPANY 145 Elizabeth Street
About the artists
Sidsel Meineche Hansen (b. 1981 in Denmark) lives and works in London, UK. Recent solo shows include those at Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen; Center for Contemporary Arts, Prague Chisenhale Gallery, London; SMK, The National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Kunsthal Aarhus, Århus. Her work is currently on view in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani.
Analisa Teachworth was born in 1987 in Detroit, MI. Her work has been exhibited in institutions including The Shed New York; FRAGILE Berlin; MoMA PS1 New York; Hamburger Bahnhof Staatliche Museen, Berlin; Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin and The New Museum, New York. She currently lives and works between Berlin and New York.
Shuang Li (b.1990, Wuyi Mountains, China) received her MA in media studies from New York University in 2014. She currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Geneva, Switzerland. Solo shows include those at Peres Projects, Berlin; Cherish, Geneva; Callie’s, Berlin and Open Forum, Berlin. Li has exhibited in a number of international group exhibitions including those at Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong; Para Site in collaboration with Rockbund Art Museum, Hong Kong; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Genève; Times Museum, Guangzhou and Mao Jihong Arts Foundation in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou. Li is currently participating in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani.