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Sinew (detail), Juliana Cerqueira Leite (Courtesy
Sinew (detail), Juliana Cerqueira Leite (Courtesy Allan Nederpelt Gallery)

Nothing Ever Touches

The Wallis Gallery & Rassa Montaser presents a two-part show curated by Ross McNicol featuring Olympia Scarry, Amelia Newton Whitelaw, Juliana Cerqueira Leite and Eloise Fornieles

Entitled 'NothingEverTouches', The Wallis Gallery presents an experiential exhibition in two connected parts, curated by Ross McNicol. Consisting of work by artists Eloise Fornieles, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Olympia Scarry and Amelia Newton Whitelaw, the group exhibition brings together new works that unearth enchanting experiences of the physical. Exploring the experience of the sense of touch and the concepts of physicality, gravity and causality, the works in this show all involve on different levels a confrontation with the paradox of what it is to touch without touching as well as our tendency towards Cartesian dualism.

At the opening of the exhibition at Chiles Matar on 3rd March, Juliana Cerqueira Leite will be producing 'Pull Up' (Object made by pulling wet plaster vertically with body as only support) in-situ starting at 2pm. The sculpture will be completed over the course of eight hours. Once finished on one side there remains impressions and traces of the artist’s figure – sitting, squatting, kneeling and standing. On the other side are the drips and clumps formed by the plaster as it escapes the artist’s hands.

Eloise Fornieles' presents The Body is an Ocean in which visitors are invited to walk through a dark space littered with buckets of seawater, illuminated by constellations of bulbs above. The lights mock the web of stars we see burning millions of years ago in the night sky; low-frequency sounds of heartbeats at the rate of birth, sex and death produce tremors across the surfaces of the water, echoing the waves and the wind.

Amelia Newton Whitelaw’s 'If I Die on This Planet I Want to be Buried Upright' consists of a parachute hanging inverted from the ceiling with 200 lbs of flesh-like raw salt dough that begins in a cargo net at the top but which gradually morphs through the mesh and stretches down toward the ground, eventually falling through an open hole at the center of the parachute, missing its chance for uplift and succumbing to gravity.

Olympia Scarry’s 'Saliva', a body of 500 lbs of fat, saliva, palm oil, water and lye is in a slow and constantly fluctuating shrinkage. As in a body's natural regression, wrinkles mark the signs of endurance, warped like a human's physical imperfections, fragile
and ephemeral. An arched body, uncomfortable in its environment, its situation is accentuated by its weight. The fats at the core combust and store a collective of organisms once alive. Saliva and soap, a process of purification and protection; an
attempt toward unattainable preservation.

High Line Room, The Standard, 3rd floor, 848 Washington Street, NY 10014. Opening 28th Feb 6-9pm at The Standard, NY and 3rd March 2-9pm at Chiles Matar, NY. February 28 to March 2, 2011. The exhibition is presented by The Wallis Gallery, a London-based and artist-led project whose focus has been on experiential exhibitions and performance art, and presented by New York-based Rassa Montaser.