Well Projects is excited to present ‘Hooking Gyre’, a solo presentation by Rosie Grace Ward, curated by Kris Lock. Conjuring a language that holds the animal relationalities of the neolithic and the ambient nightmare of late capitalism in tension with one another. Rosie Grace Ward presents a series of large scale relief panels and hangings that trace a lineage of divergences between nature and culture performed by the extractive forces of neoliberal economics.
Lascaux in southern France holds some of the earliest instances of artwork in existence. Painted by early humans over a period of 2000 years, overlapping renderings of extinct species fold vast spans of time into the dark recesses of these caverns. After visiting in the 1950’s, Georges Battaile proposed that humanity first became human at Lascaux. In using figuration to transmit information into the future, Bataille saw humanities enlightenment. An emergence into futurity from an unknown darkness.
As the earth accelerates toward its 6th mass extinction and an out of control economic system shatters hopes of political or societal consensus, the cracks in the dialectics of enlightenment are all but exposed. Instances of this lightness permeate the techno-utopian fantasy of disaster capitalism. As billionaires form interplanetary escape plans and geoengineering projects try to produce their way out of the climate crisis, the journey towards the ‘light’ continues to polarise our reality.
Confronted with the devitalising enlightenment of this world, ‘Hooking Gyre’ proposes that now is the time to darken it. Echoing the bas relief architecture of the crypt, the tactile sequence of hangings and wall panels in ‘Hooking Gyre’ form an extended narrative that records humanities frightening present, ensared in the logics of production and accumulation.
Ward’s hangings and panels are composed of synthetic materials and embossed with a tangled network of ropes; images of humans, tools, weaponry and animals are nested inside one another in cascading parasitic relationships. These arrangements are encircled by a ‘nature’ that has taken the form of an eviscerating ouroboros, holding humanity in the thralls of a hostile verdancy. Charged with a reflective quality that evokes the gloss finish of corporate branding – or the shimmer of 10,000 years of calcite residue from the depths of Lascaux, the works in ‘Hooking Gyre’ explore our cyclical relationship with history, as the ghosts of the past continue to reappear. From the darkness, ‘Hooking Gyre’ threatens the destruction of this world, and plots for a future not founded on the conditions of the present.
Again, taunted and embittered on the knife edge of failure. But there is haunted, screeching encouragement of proud ghosts, against siliconised palatable Nothing, against reeking harm and hazard and ahistoric promises to mine the world inside out, maintaining the egg shell world, exploiting bodies to throw mud at stars. All dig on.