image courtesy of Petra Szemán from Openings, 2022
The Advantages Of Being Boneless And Incomplete
Curated by Jamie Sutcliffe & Petra Szemán
Friday 13th Jan - April 1st
Open Saturdays 12-6pm
(if you would like to arrange a student visit, please get in touch)
With Ami Clarke, Sahej Rahal
& Cole James Graham
With the compulsive energy of an anime binge-watch, The Advantages Of Being Boneless And Incomplete observes the technical, perceptual, and emotional intervals of the contemporary animated image.
From macabre cartoon studios to NPC burial grounds, pre-rendered cyberpunk megacities to hauntingly vacant train platforms, this group exhibition assembles a body of artists films that pursue the animatic affordances of cartoons and video games, while tentatively defining their own vernaculars of critical fandom.
Curated by writer Jamie Sutcliffe and artist Petra Szemán, the show anticipates the publication of WEEB THEORY by Banner Repeater in 2023, an edited volume of artists’ texts, interviews, and essays that interrogate the inter-media resonances of contemporary animation, be they produced by popular cartoon shows and video games, or animation theory and artists video.
Featuring works by Bob Bicknell-Knight, David Blandy, Emily Mulenga, Hardeep Pandhal, David Steans, Petra Szemán and Christian Wright, and including contributions from Ami Clarke, Cole James Graham and Sahej Rahal, The Advantages Of Being Boneless And Incomplete indifferently sidesteps notions of digital dualism to situate animation in peculiar proximities to the bodies that manufacture and consume it.
Following theorist Deborah Levitt’s suggestion that developments in commercial and industrial animation have defined a new techno-political continuum in which the relationship between body and image has been irrevocably complicated, The Advantages Of Being Boneless And Incomplete asks how animated images might produce, pollute, or populate our emergent media-saturated lifeworlds, inducing multi-planar reveries and hybridised forms of perception.
Jamie Sutcliffe is a writer, curator and co-director of Strange Attractor Press. He is the editor of Documents of Contemporary Art: Magic, and his essays, reviews and interviews have been published by Art Monthly, Art Agenda, Art Review, Frieze, Rhizome, The White Review, The Quietus amongst others.
Petra Szemán is a moving image artist working with animation and game-like landscapes. Their practice focuses on the murky borderlands along the arbitrary line separating real and fictional, and the kind of lives and experiences that are possible there. They are based between NE England and Tokyo, Japan.