Careless Limbs

In the early months of 2020, a group of stu­dents from the Royal College of Art came to­gether to plan an ex­hi­bi­tion. Due to take place in April, out­side of the key-carded cor­ri­dors and be­yond the walls of The Academy, the multi-dis­ci­pli­nary show would be called Careless Limbs. But then, just like The Hanged Man” of Dolly Kershaw’s gif, the ex­hi­bi­tion was sus­pended, along with life as we all knew it.

Facing death we have two op­tions: re­birth, or per­sis­tence. At this strange junc­ture, we were forced to ex­plore the work of these twelve stu­dents anew, some of which has been given a dif­fer­ent life, all of which we now ex­pe­ri­ence not on or within gallery walls, but in our bed­rooms, in the ether, phys­i­cally sep­a­rated as we all are but con­nected, a com­mu­nity nonethe­less. Within this new body of work, all made in 2020, with its new set of it­er­a­tions, we at ARC could­n’t help but linger on the iso­lated, at turns con­fused and then seem­ingly deliri­ous, flesh. As we be­gan to feel like Limbs in Limbo, a work by Romane Courdacher, star­ing through a mir­ror darkly, ques­tion­ing the re­frac­tion of the light, we threw up our arms and danced in our bed­rooms with the works of Natalia Levy Villa and Ana Fernanda González-Guerra Nuñez to feel— what ex­actly? Freedom? Constraint? Despair? For are we ground­less or float­ing? Regardless of the dan­gle be­tween meta­mor­pho­sis and ego­tism, Alejandro Villa Duran’s video piece in Entre la más os­cura de mi cumbias: Soledad (a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Natalia Levy Villa and Ana Fernanda González-Guerra Nuñez) re­minded us that a lev­i­tat­ing bot­tom is a thing of beauty. Slow the body down.

And when the body is slowed, now take it back in time. Tamir Erlich and Noy Haomovitz ask: do you Remember 2009?” Through a DIRTY decade we have been wrung, wrought, wrenched and left won­der­ing — when will we learn that Carelessness causes fires”, as Knuka Knayu ex­plores? Who foots the bill when we burn? If 2016 taught us the neg­a­tive ca­pac­i­ties of nos­tal­gia, per­haps 2020 will re­mind us of its pos­si­bil­i­ties. Only time will tell, and it is time for some­thing new. Perhaps we will, col­lec­tively, take mat­ters into our own hands, con­sult our palms along­side Ariel Helyes in her work Vampire and out­wit the fu­ture.

It’s been a strange year thus far, and we are all reel­ing, all seething and stink­ing and on a precipice, once again — when are we never on the cusp of some­thing? It feels un­set­tling. And it tick­les a bit. It’s also ex­haust­ing. Like the un­teth­ered bal­loons in Jess Beige’s piece, Here Dreams of Being There, the bod­ies in Careless Limbs tease bound­aries, flirt with the lim­i­nal as ob­jects are re­leased into it — Ed Compson’s Kite Two’, stretch­ing into the sky — or be­come a part of it — Kiki Xuebing Wang’s ca­ressed pineap­ple-cat in her un­ti­tled video work.

And what of dreams? What DIRTY lit­tle dar­lings will come when the body is re­leased from here to there? Who will you sniff? How will you move, and to what tune? How will we find re­lease?

What will we re­mem­ber?

Romane Courdacher (2nd year Sculpture): Afterlife be­fore death in­er­tia

Dolly Kershaw (2nd year Sculpture): The Hanged Man

Ariel Helyes (2nd year Painting): Vampire

Jess Beige (2nd year Painting): Here dreams of be­ing there

KiKi Xuebing Wang (2nd year Painting): Untitled

Knuka Knayu (2nd year Sculpture :CARELESSNESS CAUSES FIRE

Tamir Erlich and Noy Haimovitz (2nd year Sculpture): Remember 2009?

Alejandro Villa Duran, Natalia Levy Villa and Ana Fernanda González-Guerra Nuñez (2nd year Sculpture): Entre la más os­cura de mi cumbias: Soledad. (2020)

Ed Compson (2nd year Painting): Kite Two. (Featuring the works of: Katie Bootland, Romane Courdacher, Alejandro Villa Duran, Stevie Mackinnon Smith, Dolly Kershaw, Knuka Knayu, Kenneth Winterschladen, KiKi Xuebing Wang.)

Careless Limbs is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween twelve stu­dents from the Fine Art de­part­ment at the Royal College of Art (Sculpture and Painting). Their ex­hi­bi­tion was orig­i­nally planned to take place in SafeHouse 2 Peckham in April 2020. Some of their work now fea­tures within the pages of the mag­a­zine, and the whole ex­hi­bi­tion can be found at care­