The Exquisite Wound is an interdisciplinary installation by visual artist Rebecca Swan in collaboration with composer Charlie Ha, engineer Peter Swan, light artist Peter Stoneham, and scientist David Shillington. The works contemplate how we relate to the disappearance of our physical bodies, which begs the question, “what are we without them?”
“Our wounds interrupt our carefully constructed and fiercely defended identities. No one can get through life without being wounded, but we can choose how we relate to those wounds, do they make us bigger or smaller?” says Swan, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 23. Out of this experience, she produced the touring exhibition and book, The Big C, which was launched at Lopdell House Gallery in 1996. 20 years later, that formative experience continues to reverberate through her latest work, which questions the nature of our existence.
“Working with dead animals was a challenging and humbling experience. It brought into vivid focus the transience of life and made me question our relationships and responsibilities of manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga to ourselves, to all living beings, and the planet we are connected to and reliant upon."
The Exquisite Wound combines digital and analogue technology through photography, video, a bespoke smoke-bubble machine and a soundtrack that is designed for the specific reverberant qualities of Silo 6. This New Zealand premier is to be followed by a presentation at Te Manawa, the commissioning gallery. The Exquisite Wound was granted the S+ART 2016 award for art and science collaboration. Rebecca Swan is represented by Whitespace Gallery.
Find The Exquisite Wound White Night video here.
Find the podcast interview with Rebecca Swan and Wallace Chapman here.
Image: Rebecca Swan, All Hearts are Sacred, 2016
Presented by Te Uru as part of the Auckland Arts Festival with support from S+ART and Panuku.
10 – 26 March 2017
Opening Friday 10 March, 5-9pm