exhibition: 08 / 02 / 2020 - 13 / 03 / 2020
On Saturday, February 8, during Art Rotterdam, Carly Rose Bedford receives the MK Award and TENT Rotterdam will open Bedford's first solo exhibition in the Netherlands. Utopian Redux transforms the exhibition space into an immersive and artificial landscape, which invites us to view what we understand as 'nature', as 'queer'.
Natural phenomena can be interpreted in various ways. But nature and the 'natural' have also become embroiled in stories about what would be 'normal'. According to those stories, some bodies and certain behavior are 'natural', while others are usually given the stamp 'unnatural'. In reality, many stories that we collectively adhere to are not necessarily consistent with what occurs in nature. From that observation we can therefore ask ourselves what 'nature' or 'natural' actually is? Who has claimed these terms, and whose interest is served by them? If we recognize that the social story about what is natural does not work, can we stop reproducing it? Utopian Redux wants to create a space where we can experience a new nature, and where different bodies can come together to find pleasure, healing and peace.
About the artist
The artistic practice of Carly Rose Bedford (Australia / the Netherlands) includes performance, sculpture, research and curating. The physical experience of the viewer is central to Bedford's work, which she intensifies by giving certain materials different associations to the applications and contexts to which we are accustomed. A material such as cement can suddenly feel soft here. In this way Bedford wants to give shape to a queer theme, and to investigate the frameworks that influence the way we look at different bodies, without actually having to represent specific bodies literally.
Bedford studied at the Victorian Collage of the Arts in Melbourne and Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam (2015-17). Bedford recently realized a performance for the 'Do Disturb' festival, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017); a multi-part stage 'Queer Is Not a Manifesto' in collaboration with Aynouk Tan, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2019); and "She Put a Metal Rod in and Twists It," written together with Gabriel Maher for MAD / The Sandberg Series, Sternberg Press (2019). In 2020 a residency will follow at Deltaworkers, New Orleans, through the Mondriaan Fund.