Connecting the Body and Hosting the UB Art Galleries Exhibit – UBNow: News and Views for UB Faculty and Staff
“I Don’t Know If You Like This: The Bodywork of Hospitality,” an exhibition that explores how the concept of hospitality has affected our understanding of the human body, will open in November at the Center for the Arts and the UB Anderson Gallery.
Organized by independent curator and critic Sylvie Fortin, the exhibition will open with a reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on November 10 at the CFA gallery and a reception and artist talks from 1 to 4 p.m. November at the Anderson Gallery. The exhibition lasts until May 12.
Bringing together new and recent works by 17 international artists, “I don’t know you like that: The Bodywork of Hospitality” invites us to consider how hospitality has simultaneously defined and confined what we think bodies are, what we imagine what they can do, how we think they relate, who we think they can meet, and ultimately how they engage with each other and the world.
Hospitality is generally seen as a philosophical concept with legal implications, an ethical concern, a social/political practice…or an industry. In this exhibition, Fortin shifts the focus to consider the furtive work of hospitality on our conceptual, material, and political understanding of bodies. How did the secret scope of hospitality lead to the very notion of a “human” body, fleshing out its contours by distinguishing it from other throbbing constellations of life forms? How has the invisible work of hospitality supported the extractive intersection of race, gender, class, religion and value? What prison of flesh and spirit has the dance of welcoming and excluding hospitality confined us to? Can hospitality, in turn, give rise to other choreographies?
The exhibition explores these questions in space, weaving open experiential connections between works in a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, textiles, installation and performance, as well as practices based on the goal and the time. This addresses several themes, including xeno|transplantation, implantation and transfusion; neural adaptation and the phantom limb; bacteria and the microbiome; viruses, parasites, symbionts and holobionts; mechanical and chemical prostheses; imaging technologies; the architectures of bodily hospitality; dreams and dream work; and the magic and “miraculous” working of relics, spirits and energies.
“I Don’t Know If You Like This: The Bodywork of Hospitality” explores the storied genealogy of the body, critically points to its living legacy, imagines other more-than-human hospital modalities, and opens up an expanded theater of operations . In the process, it hosts a host of cross-species intimacies and live-wired stories.
The artists featured in the exhibition are Eglė Budvytytė, Jean-Charles de Quillacq, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Celina Eceiza, Adham Faramawy, Mounir Fatmi, Oliver Husain and Kerstin Schroedinger, Luis Jacob, Lynne Marsh, Rodney McMillian, Lucas Michael, Bridget Moser, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Berenice Olmedo, Slinko and Ana Torfs.
“This exhibition provides many opportunities for creative overlap between schools and departments of the university and the community at large,” says Robert Scalise, director of art galleries at UB. “From visual art, media, design and dance to architecture, science and medicine, Fortin’s exploration of the meaning of welcome and hospitality can serve as a starting point for research and innovation here at UB.”
Fortin says she is grateful for the opportunity to develop a second iteration of the exhibit for UB art galleries. The first iteration was presented at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha in 2021-2022.
“It was such a pleasure to reconnect with colleagues at Buffalo, to meet UB scholars, researchers and students, and to imagine collaborations across the university and with local arts organizations during my preparatory visits. in Buffalo,” she said. “The community’s enthusiasm for the project and their collaborative spirit impacted the show and gave the related public programs a distinctive shape and vibrancy.
“In the three years that have passed since I started organizing this project, I have learned a lot from the work and ideas of artists, researchers in many fields and people around me”, she says. “I now look forward to learning from the exhibit itself during its six months in Buffalo, through the experiences and comments of visitors.”
The exhibition is accompanied by public programs, free and open to students and the public. The first, a performance by Bridget Moser, one of the featured artists, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on October 27 as part of the Arts Center’s “Art in the Open” event.
Borrowing from prop comedy, experimental theatre, contemporary dance and performance art, Moser’s “When I’m Finished With You, There’ll Be Nothing Left” unfolds like a sequence of brief scenes that switch abruptly and unexpectedly between self-mockery, humor and depth. emotions – with a healthy dose of awkward and wacky moments.
References and materials from consumer culture, trending online content, popular music and film play a supporting role in her exploration of isolation as a consequence of the connection between the body and individuality, fragility of self-identity and the intensity of being alive
A complete list of public programs is available on the exhibition website.