The house

Niels Bekkema

Elizabeth McInnes

Buhlebezwe Siwani

Samantha McCulloch

June Lam

Rebecca Haysom

Io Makandal

Organised by Conch

The House conceives of the Twil Sharp house and surrounding property as a living, breathing being. Ontologically multiple, the house is constituted by cultural and historical forces and stands for itself.

It is being (in), o f and t-h-r-o-u-g-h itself.

The house acts. It is not just a character but structurally imperative to the narrative of the exhibition. It breathes and sighs, its limbs and organs together encompass the internal and external body. An ajar door is a drooping arm, open windows are sweeping eyelashes, the iron cooker is the beating heart, the wide-open corridors – the lungs. Light and air pass through, from one passage to another.

The house takes seriously the possibility of non-human knowledge, a material wisdom of treadles, cranks, stone, soap, ground and light. Layers of wallpaper and paint build as sedimentation. Rising damp and mould trace seasonal ows of the world beyond. Melodic compositions of tapping shoes lie within the walls.

If we conceive of garden plants as witnesses, the wall as page upon which trace precedes inscription and the oors as embedded with archeo acoustic transmitters, we might begin to think of both site and time as geologic, horizontal and lateral. Rather than prosaic or quotidian, this time is surprising.

The adjacent workshop and its history of industry, namely the manufacturing of grindstones and sandpaper, brings to mind Sergei Tretiakov’s Biography of the Object (1929), in which the collective matter and objects of human labour and labour itself come to the fore. To conceive of the house in such terms counters dichotomies between subject and object, proposing an ethics of being thoroughly material and historical.

Conch is a platform for art production, curatorial practice and experimental publishing presently residing in a book.

Elizabeth McInnes Christopher Williams-Wynn Samantha McCulloch

3 June – 24 June 2017