Opening 12 Sept 5-8pm
With performance ‘Defining space by not conforming to it.’ 7:30pm
Continues 13-28 Sept
Free, open Wed-Sat 11-5pm & until 8pm Thurs at Turf, Whitgift Centre, Croydon CR01UQ
Dancing is my way of escapism. If I feel ‘home’, I will dance. If I’m a singer, if I feel home, I will sing.
‘Home is where the body isn’t.’ is an exhibition of work by this year’s Turf x Croydon College artist-in-residence, Henrique Paris. Henrique is a multidisciplinary artist exploring how structures like ‘home’, space, time, movement and verbal language can either restrict or free us in expressing ourselves. The exhibition takes as its starting point the idea of ‘home’ as a feeling, as opposed to a physical place. The works in the show – which include photography, video, sculpture, text, and performance – explore this feeling and consider how our sense of ‘home’ can inform our ability /inability to communicate with the world around us.
Our voices don’t lie, the words do. Language doesn’t have the capacity to enable everyone to express themselves fully.
Much of the work considers the body as an instrument for expression, providing a method of communication that sits outside of the structures of spoken language. Some of Henrique’s work is intended to provoke you to move through or around them in a certain pattern – reflecting his belief that tiny subliminal or unintentional actions embody what feels natural to us. Henrique has talked of this interest as being rooted in his own experiences of movement and migration, as an artist of Angolan heritage, who was born in Portugal, and now lives and works in the UK. An individual who is bilingual, he holds a fascination with words and definitions, and an awareness of both the potentials and limitations of language. If the invisible structures that impose themselves on everyone don’t necessarily serve us all well, or function in the same way for all of us, then how much can they influence what we choose to share with others? How do we push back against such frameworks?
You either conform and are uncomfortable, or are almost always protesting.
A vital aspect of Henrique’s practice is allowing time and space for thought and contemplation as a method of research in itself. Collaboration and conversation follows from this, inviting himself and others to express themselves in response to prompts and questions – all pushing against the idea of ‘productivity’ and ‘product’ as the only valuable output. The work takes the form of an ongoing process.
This isn’t a project about stillness or a particular social issue happening outside, instead celebrates liveliness and activity. A tour to appreciate what keeps us moving […]. To me activism seems to be all about justice, art, survival, risks and togetherness. Activists usually invest their safety, jobs, reputations on their craft so I could say their lifestyles are driven by their faith. I think this project will be precisely about those things. It’s about activists & artists who are authentically driven by one single force which resonates with the / a truth.
When we believe, we dance. When we dance, we have faith in our manifestation. Speaking has never been free. It’s taken me some faith to start saying this. When we trust our voices to speak, it almost gets to choose the volume in which it wants to speak it. But one thing we definitely can’t control is our tone: whatever the spirit feels will be immediately transmitted through the tone. What is our voice?
// ABOUT THE TURF x CROYDON COLLEGE RESIDENCY
The Turf x Croydon College residency is a yearly opportunity for Croydon College students. The residency offers a solo exhibition opportunity following a free studio space for a month, mentorship & professional development, £500 for the successful applicant and £500 materials budget.
// ABOUT HENRIQUE PARIS
Henrique Paris’ practice is based on philosophical questions around; being, human behaviour, communication and cultural & social structures which affect our behaviours. In turn, Paris explores how these behaviours represent ourselves in the world. Often Paris’ practice is a collaborative endeavour between the artist and other individuals, or involves the setting up of situations and installations where others are influenced to intereact or behave in certain ways.
Paris has completed Croydon School of Art’s Foundation Art & Design course in 2019.