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Raw Nerves

Adel Abdessemed, James Balmforth, James Capper, Frances Drayson, Aidan Duffy, Isa Genzken, Lisa-Marie Harris, Andy Holden, Anna Perach, PROUDICK, Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq, Kahlil Robert Irving, Davinia-Ann Robinson, Kaari Upson, Andra Ursuţa, Gray Wielebinski

Organised with Hannah Barry Gallery

3 November 2022 — 14 January 2023
Hannah Barry Gallery, London

The language of precarity envelopes nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Instability, risk, contagion and collapse – these are the terms in which we navigate the world today. In place of rigidly repressive forms, claims to freedom, productivity and self-actualisation are marshalled to excuse a politically induced condition of uncertainty. Its presence anxiously affects not only the safety of our livelihoods and relationships but the integrity and welfare of our material bodies and cognitive states. Under this system, we feel as much—or perhaps even more than we know: that failing social and economic networks support some more than others, unequally exposing us to the indelible scars of austerity, insecurity and violence. It is a brutal and ever shifting landscape of indeterminacy and constraint, in which the art of survival relies on a turbulent coalition of newfound commons, hidden enclaves and accelerating drives to escape. 

Raw Nerves brings together new and acclaimed voices in sculpture to present the visual and psychological impacts of this precarious order – all the while offering moments of intimacy, personal reflection and liberation. Speaking to the urgency of our moment, the exhibition scrutinises the economy of form and materiality, from the legacies of minimalism to post-industrial production, through to contemporary formulations between sculpture and cultural discourses of identity, mythology and posthumanism. Speculation and fantasy come together with brute and compelling emotional realism, foregrounding stories that evoke the rawness of the world we live in now - interrogating the fragility of the human condition and the carceral structures that inhibit our world, tirelessly searching for new and alternative ways of being.

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