Tighten Throat and Butterflies

‘Tighten Throat and Butterflies’ (2016) work constitutes of a cake – with writing ‘Everything Will Be Fine’ – placed on a cake stand, on the top of a slightly lopsided pillar.  On the opposite side of the room, above the entrance/exit, there is also LED sign programmed with message ‘Fuck It’ scrolling across the screen continuously.

During the opening evening the artist and Sophie Ansell – collaborating artist  – were inviting the audience to participate in the performance / activate the work by thinking of wishes and blowing the candles.

After the opening night the work remained in the space with the traces of wishes. New visitors also had the opportunity to take part, with the gallery invigilator lighting the candles for them.

The work is exploring how one deals with situations of crisis and how the work can create a space where wishes could be remembered/identified and hope can be generated. That speaks to both personal and political contexts. As Judith Halberstam in ‘The Queer Art of Failure’ says “We all are used to having our dreams crushed, our hopes smashed, our illusions shuttered, but what comes after hope? What is the alternative, in other words, to cynical resignation on the one hand and naïve optimism on the other?”

This work was premiered on July 13th 2016 at the ‘Autocorrect Ruined My Life’ group show in the Chalton Gallery. More recently it was presented in collaboration with Raju Rage at their show Under/Valued Energetic Economies, Jupiter Woods Gallery, London and also at the opening weekend of 2018 Liverpool Biennale (Metal) and as a part of ‘Wish Landscapes’ solo who at the Detroit Art Week.

© 2021, Katarzyna Perlak