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'Collapse', by Leah Clements

Within the programming of

Gelatina 2020
18 May 2020
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'Colapso', de Leah Clements
'Colapso', de Leah Clements

A host of voices emerge to speak about their experiences of falling asleep in times of distress as an involuntary coping mechanism. The film explores the experience of collapse affectively, and as a political act in itself; a physical demonstration of a systemic failure of care.

Duration: 1 hour

Collapse is a film work shot in thermal imaging - half in a small park, half in a sleep clinic where the artist was undergoing overnight testing for narcolepsy. In thermal imaging things that can usually be distinguished cannot be, such as the pupil and iris of an eye, and things appear that are not usually visible, like the traces of warmth a body leaves when getting out of bed. There is a presence/absence, a space where things are slightly off, where you might go to escape when no other option is available. Here, the act of collapse is an articulation of personal and political un-coping, and embodies the potency of the ‘narcoleptic presence/absence’ that Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick puts forward in her essay ‘Interlude, Pedagogic’, where she describes fainting at a protest:

‘Yet I like to brood over the reconstruction of that moment when I fainted partly because, through my absentation, it seems to place me, however briefly, at the center of the work of protest - as though I were Alice Walker’s luminous vacuum of a heroine Meridian, say, whose narcoleptic presence/absence seems the perfect condensation of her contagious unconsciousness of fear, her uncanny talent for crystallizing loss and rage as socially embodied defiance and movement’.

Collapse is in English with English and Spanish subtitles.

Content warning: The film refers briefly to an armed robbery.

Leah Clements is a London-based artist. Her work explores self/other boundaries and collective identities, the subconscious, and the impact of emotion on the body. She has been an artist in residence at Wysing Arts Centre (UK), Rupert (LT), and SPACE Art+Tech (UK), and has exhibited at galleries including Somerset House Studios, Science Gallery London, the ICA (London), Baltic39 (Newcastle), Jupiter Woods (London), Vermilion Sands (Copenhagen), The National Gallery of Art (Vilnius), Wellcome Collection (London), Chisenhale Gallery (London), and Vitrine (London). In March 2019 Clements launched Access Docs for Artists: an online resource made in collaboration with Lizzy Rose and Alice Hattrick to help disabled artists create and use access documents.

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'Collapse', by Leah Clements

18 May 9 - 10 h