EYES JR. by ELLIE HUNTER and ANNI PUOLAKKA at CORDOVA [from 20211205 to 20220219]

[Photos: Roberto Ruiz]

"I remember you saying once that you wanted to live inside as many bodies as possible, Mother, not just the five bodies that came from your belly. Art is a non-linear form of reproduction, moving forwards and backwards in time. I want to be part of something like that. I want to be pregnant with your legacy, Mother. To decompose and birth you with the others. Maybe then we wouldn’t all be so lonely."

Eyes Jr. is an exhibition featuring individual and collaborative works from artists Ellie Hunter and Anni Puolakka. The show houses sculptures, paintings and a film which serves as its main protagonist, cradled inside of a large-scale inflatable corporeal structure which the audience enters. Entitled Eyes Jr., the film follows a group of five siblings on the day of their mother’s funeral. Through a continuous conversation set around a table, the siblings cut cake and discuss their relationship to their recently deceased mother, positing and debating their varying opinions about the role of a mother and their respective reproductive politics. The film was shot by the artists and the characters are portrayed by hand-sewn dolls controlled like marionettes from out of shot. The mother of these sculptures, who had recently passed away of old age, was herself also a sculpture, in her case large-scale, metal and covered with multiple eyes. She was not made by the artists but rather by a particularly well-known French artist who died in the early 21st century.

In addition to their own collaboration for the works in the exhibition the artists collaborate with two Barcelona-based initiatives. Firstly, Jokkoo; a music collective dedicated to diffusion and creation of experimental electronic sound(s) from Africa and its diaspora, who have created a soundscape and live performance for the exhibition’s opening. And secondly, Sandia, an arts education program for LGBTQ+ youth whose course directors, in tandem with Hunter and Puolakka, have designed pedagogical scores with themes present in the exhibition.

⁂ Many thanks to Maguette Dieng for fabricating the inflatable.
⁂ This project is commissioned by The Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes’ Together Alone 2.0 project, and supported by the Arts Promotion Center Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

[Text: Cordova]

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