Molly Palmer at 1646

Artist: Molly Palmer

Exhibition title: Mechanism of a Lock

Venue: 1646, The Hague, The Netherlands

Date: December 20, 2019 – January 26, 2020

Photography: Jhoeko / images copyright and courtesy of the artist and 1646, The Hague

1646 is proud to announce that Molly Palmer (b.1984, lives and works in London and Amsterdam) is presenting new work in Mechanism of a Lock, her solo exhibition at 1646.

Palmer explores the variety of hidden neurological profiles that affect people’s sensitivity to the world. This can be in relation to different species and natural perspectives, but also the perspectives of hidden neurological difference, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or bipolar. Mechanism of a Lock questions existing linear views that assume that because such differences don’t align with a normative mental health profile they should therefore be fought and overcome — in practice these differences tend to recur throughout an individual’s life. The idea that they should be ‘cured’ can result in combative behavioral patterns that damage our bodies and souls, such as feelings of failure or defeat.

One of the videos on view, Nine Nectarines and Other Porcelain, suggests that we turn our energy inwards and work together to create healing spaces, caring instead of curing, attention instead of overcoming. The exhibition builds on the idea that a breakage does not signify weakness or defeat but can instead create something complex, strong and mysterious, adding new layers of meaning to a person or to an object.

What is visible and invisible and can be considered real or unreal. The mechanism of a lock can never be entirely seen, and yet the shape of the key that turns it reveals something of its nature.

Molly Palmer’s work sits within and between the media of filmmaking, installation, sculpture and choreography. Using hand made props, sets and costumes, she greenscreen protagonists into layered video worlds where music, gesture and dialogue form cyclical narratives explore the strangeness within ordinary things.

By generating spaces that are visibly hand made, she intends to build a hybrid culture dislocated from the convincing virtual worlds we are immersed in daily. A timeless no-place with its own rhythm and logic, where reality and fiction become de-stabilized and intertwined.

Palmer’s installations extend material environments around the films, exploring the potential of sculptural sets and surround sound to produce a heightened physical encounter with the work.

The fractured narratives that unfold within these assemblages, explore the transformative potential of personal belief, often seeking resolution for difficult events – sorrow, loss, anxiety, mental illness or trauma.

Palmer wants to create spaces that are strange yet familiar; narratives that are sometimes funny, bewildering and beautiful but can also be disorienting, emotionally enigmatic, sad or frightening.

Although visually dream-like her work is not intended as fantasy. Instead it offers a step sideways into parallel worlds that allow us to examine and enjoy the complexity and absurdity of being human.