Donna Huanca at Zabludowicz Collection

December 13th, 2016|

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal8

Artist: Donna Huanca

Exhibition title: Scar Cymbals

Curated by: Maitreyi Maheshwari

Venue: Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK

Date: September 29 – December 18, 2016

Photography: © Thierry Bal 2016, all images copyright and courtesy of artist, Zabludowicz Collection and Peres Projects, Berlin

The first UK solo exhibition by Donna Huanca at the Zabludowicz Collection is also the first performance-led commission in the space, with daily performances from painted models activating a series of new site-responsive architectural and sculptural installations in the 19th century former Methodist chapel.

Huanca’s work draws attention to the body and in particular the skin, which is simultaneously the surface on which our personhood is inscribed and the surface through which we experience the world around us. Huanca examines conventions of behaviour in our interaction with bodies in space and the invisible histories that are accumulated through those gestures. By exposing the naked body and concealing it under layers of paint, cosmetics and latex, Huanca’s performers confront our instinctive reactions to flesh, which becomes both a familiar, decorative object and an abstract, inaccessible subject.

For this exhibition, Huanca has designed a three storey glass structure to respond to the height and neo-classical stucco work of the Main Hall. This translucent structure will become increasingly opaque during the show as Huanca’s models perform within it. The slow, deliberate movements of the models enact private rituals and meditations that mark the space with their presence, eventually casting off their prosthetic layers to leave behind a very visceral absence.

Like penetrating through layers of skin, Huanca invites viewers to become increasingly immersed in the exhibition as it progresses from highly structured architectural tableaux vivants to interactive works. Sculptural installations draw upon the shapes and patterns of natural minerals and rock formations, recalling the sources of the pigments that cover the performers. Embedded within these sculptures and as a standalone totem-like sculpture will be a series of sound works that variously respond to the control of the models and the movement and proximity of visitors’ bodies. This installation builds upon Huanca’s earlier sound art projects made under the name Rua Minx and will feature new recordings of often overlooked, misrepresented or invisible groups. Glass is a recurrent material throughout as the artist examines ideas of surface and body and the ways in which an outer casing becomes the meaning and identity of the whole.

The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of live performances and talks as well as a monographic publication examining Huanca’s performative works to date.

Curated by Maitreyi Maheshwari, Programme Director, Zabludowicz Collection.

Donna Huanca (b. 1980 Chicago, USA) studied at the Städelschule, Frankfurt as well as the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine and has been the recipient of the DAAD Artist Grant and a Fulbright research grant. Recent exhibition venues include the Malmö Konsthalle, Moma PS1 Printshop, New York and Peres Projects, Berlin.

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Donna Huanca, MELANOCYTES/ETHERIC TEMPLATE, 2016

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, installation view

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Donna Huanca, VEINS/PHYSICAL BODY (Scrawls), 2016

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, installation view

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Donna Huanca, SWEAT DUCT/MENTAL LAYER, 2016

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Donna Huanca, NERVE ENDINGS/ASTRAL LAYER (Blind Spot), 2016

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Zabludowicz Collection

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SWEAT DUCT/MENTAL LAYER, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, MELANOCYTES/ETHERIC LAYER, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, MELANOCYTES/ETHERIC LAYER, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, installation view

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SENSORY NEURON/CELESTIAL LAYER (Foot Sensory), 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SENSORY NEURON/CELESTIAL LAYER (Foot Sensory), 2016, performance view

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Donna Huanca, SENSORY NEURON/CELESTIAL LAYER (Foot Sensory), 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal1

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal2

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal3

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal4

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal5

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal6

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal7

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal8

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal9

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal10

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal11

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal13

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal14

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal15

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view

Donna Huanca - Scar Cymbals - performance 07.10.16 - Image Thierry Bal16

Donna Huanca, SCAR CYMBALS, 2016, performance view