Zoë Bastin and Claire Watson
When we inhale and exhale, our bodies transform through the process of inflation and deflation. Drawing on the inflatable form as both material and metaphor, Conflated brings disparate artists together to explore bodies, environments and cultures through contemporary art. Here, the cycle of breathing serves as a framework through which a wide array of experiences, behaviours and expressions are examined.
The artists featured in Conflated investigate the possibilities of the inflatable – through participatory works that entice audiences into finding new forms of Covid-safe intimacy, to audio that draws parallels between ASMR breath and the ecological destruction of glaciers melting, and video of convulsing bodies that morph with inflatables. There are works that explore psychological distress and comfort, pollution, the abject, distortion, rubbish, late-capitalism and colonisation.
Across all works, the ideas of inflation and deflation are used as a provocation, offering new possibilities for the contemporary world.
Conflated presents a range of materials, from balloons to digital audio and video informed by inflatable processes. Positioning the inflatable as the medium of our times, the exhibition prompts us to explore the inherent plasticity and transformative potential of that which can be blown up. The works conflate synthetic forms with human vulnerabilities, the uncanny, eco- anxiety, colonised land and breath.