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A sort of ‘No’ feeling, by Clay AD and Leah Clements

Within the programming of

Gelatina 2020
13 May 2020
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Online, Talks
'Collapse', de Leah Clements
'Collapse', de Leah Clements

In the first piece of Gelatina Festival 2020, writer, artist and somatic bodyworker Clay AD and artist Leah Clements are considering the repercussions of the cultural and social reinforcement of separation between mind and body.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Specifically considering how individualisation of experiences such as illness and gender dysphoria by medicine and other oppressive forces have created isolation, and how this might be resisted by re-uniting the bodymind and sharing collective experiences.

Clay and Leah’s discussion sits beside Leah's film Collapse, and Clay’s guided meditation Connecting to the No within. Collapse follows the accounts of seven people who fall asleep in times of distress, alongside the artist's overnight stay in a sleep clinic whilst being tested for narcolepsy. Leah and Clay discuss some of the themes raised in the film which extend across both artists' work. Connecting to the 'No' within is a guided meditation which leads the listener through individual and collective threads of nos through the physical, emotional and memory body.

Clay and Leah are interested in developing collective language to disarm the violence and enforced individualisation of pathology, and how pathologised people(s) in crip, queer and trans communities find their/our own words and ways of relating to one another. They want to explore the physical and emotional feeling of 'No' - the bodymind's response to oppression, dysphoria, trauma, pain and other untenable circumstances, thinking in particular about dissociation as a response.

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.

Clay AD was born in Indianapolis Indiana and now lives in Berlin where they are a somatic bodyworker, artist, writer and tarot reader. In their interdisciplinary practice they honour and explore illness, ecology, science fiction, transformation and the politics of care under capitalism -- by themselves, collectively and with their clients. They are a certified practitioner of the Pantarei Approach and their somatic work is informed by their background in improvisational movement, meditation and breath work.

Their first novel, Metabolize, If Able is available through Arcadia Missa Press UK and was named a finalist in the 31st Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Their writing has been published by Pilot Press, Futures Journal, Hematopoiesis Press, and Monster House Press. They have led somatic and writing workshops at NGBK Berlin and Shedhalle Zurich, and read internationally including at the Institute for Contemporary Arts London. They received their BFA from the Cooper Union for Advancement of Art and Science in 2014.

Access Info + Content Warnings:

  • The discussion refers to dissociation, gender dysphoria, chronic pain, medical gaslighting, and to trauma in a general sense.
  • Leah’s film ‘Collapse’ refers briefly to an armed robbery.
  • Talk in English with English and Spanish subtitles.
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  • Referencias y glosario de términos 'Una suerte de 'no' sentimientos' (pdf, 105.27 KB)

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A sort of ‘No’ feeling, by Clay AD and Leah Clements

13 May 16:30 - 18 h