Being Horizontal / Sínte

Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland

Nora Heidorn & Lynne Kouassi, Ketty La Rocca, David McGovern, Julie Morrissy, Harold Offeh

Curated by Nora Heidorn
The standard enlightenment representation of the human body is of a singular, upright, able-bodied man, gazing forward. This group exhibition pays caring attention to reclined bodies and to bodies inclined towards each other, favouring a model of the human as interdependent and reliant.

We encounter reclined bodies in different situations in our lives, in images, and stories: persons sleeping or resting, having sex, the unwell, injured or deceased. Common tropes include the reclined nude, the fallen soldier, the psychoanalysis patient, and the birthing woman. Being horizontal, and especially being looked at and imaged in positions of recline, is often associated with feminised and racialised powerlessness. Deliberately assuming a horizontal position in front of others can also challenge, subvert, and politicise dynamics of vulnerability and power.

This exhibition explored what moving out of the vertical plane and into varying degrees of inclination might indicate about being in relation, about interdependency and care. For example, how might the simple but charged acts of lounging, reclining, or leaning be reimagined as critiques of the neoliberal drives for efficiency, productivity, speed, and independence?