UTOPIAN REDUX by CARLY ROSE BEDFORD at TENT [from 20200208 to 20200621]

[Photos: Hanneke Wetzer + Prins de Vos]

With Utopian Redux, Carly Rose Bedford transforms the exhibition space at TENT into an immersive artificial landscape, inviting us to look at queerness and nature. Bedford is the winner of the MK Award, which she received during Art Rotterdam at the opening of the show.

There is a multitude of readings we can put on any natural phenomenon.  Yet nature and the natural have become embedded in a narrative of what is normal, naturalising certain bodies or behaviours, while deeming others ‘unnatural’.

Many of the stories we have collectively agreed upon are actually counter to any natural process or truth. So, what is this thing called nature? Who has claimed this term and who does it serve? These are the questions Bedford would like to pose.

Once we recognize that our narrative of the natural is not working, can we stop this story from repeating itself? Can we lesson the burden on projected ideals and fail as a portal for transformation? Utopian Redux proposes a space where a new sketch sense of nature can be haptically experienced, and different bodies can share in joy, healing and rest.

About the artist

Carly Rose Bedford (Australia/Netherlands) has developed a multidisciplinary practice that consists of performance, sculpture, research and curating. Key is a methodology that centralises bodily experience while colliding it with materials and our habituated relationship to their uses and contexts. Here there can be a softness to concrete. This enables Bedford to enact queer thematics, and to explore the frames that influence our perception of different bodies without having to represent the body literally.

Bedford studied at the Victorian Collage of the Arts in Melbourne and the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam (2015-17). Bedford recently performed at the ‘Do Disturb’ festival, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017); initiated the polyvocal podium ‘Queer Is Not a Manifesto’ together with Aynouk Tan, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2019); published ‘She Put a Metal Rod in and Twists It’ together with Gabriel Maher, MAD/The Sandberg Series, Sternberg Press (2019); and was awarded a residency at Deltaworkers, New Orleans, through Mondriaan Fonds.

About the MK Award

The MK Award was founded by artists in 2012 to honour the creative legacy of gallerists Emmo Grofsmid (1951-2011) and Karmin Kartowikromo (1948-2011) of the former MK Gallery in Rotterdam and Berlin. Like them, the MK Award aims to recognise artists for their artistic position as well as their role for the wider community and society around them. The award consists of € 5.000 and involves an exhibition.

Previous winners of the MK Award were Melanie Bonajo (2013), Gil & Moti (2015) and Peter Fengler (2017). For this last edition of the Award, they were invited to nominate fellow-artists they consider inspiring and relevant today. The other nominees were Quincy Gario and ieke Trinks. Carly Rose Bedford, nominated by Melany Bonajo, was chosen by a jury consisting of artist Karin Arink, Kunsthal curator Charlotte Martens and collector Jeroen Princen, chaired by curator/advisor Alex de Vries, who praised Bedford for her multifaceted and inclusive practice.

[Text: TENT]

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