Ruth Angel EdwardsE N E M A S A L V A T O R E !
15 September—18 October 2017
Opening: 14 September 2017, 6pm
ALMANAC INN presents E N E M A S A L V A T O R E !, a solo exhibition by British artist Ruth Angel Edwards.
New work, developed during her residency in Turin, explores the process of digestion, expanding the idea of the body to look at wider themes on both a personal, poetic, spiritual level, and in terms of a global political and cultural landscape. This installation, the first in an ongoing body of work, switches between different metaphorical ‘bodies’, moving from different layers of scale, and shifting between ecologies – the sea, the city, the seasons, the human body and the afflictions placed on it by every day life.
On the floor is a mixture of Autumn leaves and free promotional papers that litter the streets of Turin - natural and artificial cycles which occur alongside one another, sharing a similar colour palette. The work responds to the season it is made in. Autumn - when things die to be reborn into another cycle, when animals hibernate, when people and animals take stock and prepare themselves for a period of scarcity in Winter.
Large scale banner portraits of women depicted from wellness culture’s imaginaries hang from the ceiling. Looking almost classical or religious in form. 'Bloated' women that you would find in adverts for yogurt or health foods, sublimate in clouds of gas. They are lit by the beams of a saucy sun at their back. A logo taken from the flourishing feel-good industry enters the fiction and the mythologies of consumption.
The paintings and other objects in the space are animated by new audio visual works which bring them to life. Real life characters are dramatised as a kind of fan fiction. Tanya Streeter, freediving world record holder, descends deep into the sea with the voices of a good and evil angel, preparing her body. Youtuber, Earthling Mama, sings a song to her baby son and encourages the audience (and the rest of the world) to join in. These are excerpts from a larger narrative, that is still in progress, and work as a kind of ‘trailer’ or ‘teaser’ for what’s to come.
The installation attempts a 'total' artwork - painting, sculpture, music, drama; playfully embracing its own ridiculousness. Creating a dialogue of 'talking' paintings. The tone moves between humour, sincerity, violence and spirituality. Recontextualising pop culture.
The work questions the binary structures of western culture, the duality of good and bad, opposite to a balanced equilibrium of differences which involves orientation towards the other. A circularity of ingestion, consumption, digestion, purification - release.
In the context of the series, E N E M A S A L V A T O R E !, these works take the form of an introduction or 'prelude', which sets the scene and describes the circumstances leading up to the detox.
Ruth arrived on the residency here straight from Notting Hill Carnival in London, where she subjected her body to various forms of intoxication and excess. During her stay in Turin, she underwent a 'detox', including a 5 day colon cleanse.