my hole is the place where i call myself a mother
Well Projects is excited to present ‘my hole is the place where i call myself a mother’, a solo exhibition by Lou Lou Sainsbury, produced in collaboration with graphic design by Hannah Sakai, music by Marie Tučkovà and performance by Sarjon, and curated by Kris Lock.
Drawing on research into colonial histories, christian iconography, holes and trans motherhood, Lou Lou Sainsbury presents a multidisciplinary installation that extends through waxy poetics and knotted, spiraling time forms (sci fi time / vampire time / earth time / human time / celestial time / microscopic time / tree time) as a distillation of historical consciousness and an allegory for love, caring and listening.
Cutting through the pale monochromatics and historical erasures that pervade the current conversations around the ‘anthropocene’ and ‘post-humanism’, ‘my hole is the place where i call myself a mother’ listens to the voices of the untold histories of colonialism, exploitation and dispossession that this planetary analytic has failed to address.
The eponymous video work within the installation opens with a cross section of a meteorite on fire in the dark, as the meteorite burns a disembodied voice is singing a slow rhythm.
By the time I am 60 I know that I will have learned how to listen to the voices in the holes of the trees …
By the time I am 165, I will know what it is to be mucus at the base of the Hole’s throat in the holes of the trees …
By the time I am 4000, I will have begun to learn where the music is coming from …
As the music continues, time stretches out, and living things unfold as little knots or collections of braided links that leak like wicker baskets. The beat of sonic histories permeates and connects all the things that spill out. Within this sonic space can be felt a very different type of world – a weird ‘implosive whole’.
‘If the ‘beat’ is the confession which recognises, changes, and conquers time. Then,
history becomes a garment we can wear, and share, and not a cloak in which to hide;
and time becomes a friend.’
In ‘my hole is the place where i call myself a mother’, the beat, the rhythm, the whispers and the silence in between, sounds the sound of the living. The beat is metonymic with the pulse – the vitalism of the living, the digestion and excretions of holes (mouths, throats, black holes, assholes), the rebirths and morphogenesis of matter, and the cyclical movement of celestial bodies.
Taking the pulse of this implosive whole* requires the delicate uncoupling of think and feel, a state of being in which meanings can unstick, come loose and become porous. This form of indexing beyond the material present is temporal as well as physical; a space where world sharing can be possible. By listening and taking a pulse, ‘my hole is the place where i call myself a mother’ helps us enter into these worlds, sharing space and reorienting our relationship to holism (intimate interconnectivity)
‘A person is many more things than just human. A street full of people is more than just a city.
When I die I become memories in you, pieces of crumpled paper in a wastebasket,
a corpse, some loose change. These appearances exceed me and I’m distributed into a weird, intangible intimacy.’
The type of holism that has prevailed under the weight of colonial pasts and neoliberal condition sits within a theistic social space in which difference does not matter, or does not matter as much as being part of something bigger. The problem is that this ‘bigger’, is a bigger that strips historical specificity, race, class and gender from the human, divides the human from the non-human and relies on forms of inclusivity that can only exist in opposition to the excluded.
Within the colonial past and present of capital accumulation, this holism is visible. The pulse of human and non-human flows are ruptured by the pulseless material practices of mining and extraction. This leads to the dehumanisation and subsequent division of the human, non-human and inhuman in the forms of settler colonialism, forced displacement and slavery. Often these histories of colonial violence are obscured with a narrative that does not extend to the legacies of these power structures; the transformation of land into territory, the establishment of the petrochemicals industry, the proliferation of ecological monocultures and the imbalanced effects of the climate crisis along colour lines to name a few.
These counter histories are found elsewhere in the narratives and scene of subjection, in the excess of the complicated matrixes of colonial life, in literature and in music … where the mind feels and the senses become theoreticians’
The space around Sainsbury’s video work is blooming with pollinating plants. Lime and tuberous flowers are rooted with drippy wax mouths, poems can be found in the holes.
What is being said here is not the point
Listen to peoples outside this room’
The sonic histories evoked in ‘my hole is the place where i call myself a mother’ demands the presence of multiple temporalities and demands that we listen to the histories that have been made invisible. Her work offers a series of time machines that we might enter into, when we make a morning coffee, look up into the sun, make love, blow a kiss to a loved one, listen to the voices in the trees.