Celine is happy to present an exhibition organised by Nadia Hebson and Sophie Macpherson:
In summer of 2016 Sophie Macpherson and I (Nadia Hebson) worked on a text which explored our shared interests in apparel, physicality, female subjectivity and friendship. Drawing on skype and email conversations the text took an epistolary form and ranged through personal perspectives on women artists’ practices and international events such as the ‘migrant crisis’ and the EU Referendum, alongside descriptions of sports clothing and club wear, and reflections on Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the paintings of Christina Ramberg. An unguarded but none the less edited script, the text became a short hand for the creative space of female friendship.
Writing about Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels which detail the lifetime relationship of two women from an impoverished Neapolitan neighbourhood the writer Natasha Soobramanien likens the women’s friendship to an act of translation. Soobramanien writes ‘Lila and Lenù are translated beings, translating one another, shifting continually between the Neapolitan dialect of their childhood and the standard form of Italian both have a talent for expressing themselves in. And it is in this more rarefied linguistic sphere that Lenù finds success, and her professional voice as a writer (a voice modelled on Lila’s writerly voice)’. Lila and Lenu steel themselves through the confines of 60’s, 70s’ and 80’s femininity through the persistence of their complex friendship, which Ferrante so carefully atomises. They see one another and at times offer each a template for being, Ferrante’s writing of their friendship is closely analogous to the experience of creative friendship. And to understand female friendship as a form of translation is to recalibrate its constituents, becoming a space of attention, mirroring, testing, exchange, admiration and productive envy, a space of agency.
In taking the complexities of female friendship and the communicative possibilities of dress as a starting point we have invited artists and writers who are friends and potential friends to contribute work to I See You Man. These artists and writers work explore ideas of mentorship, resonance as described by Italian Feminist Carla Lonzi, feminist activism, translation, biography, fictional autobiography and the agency of dress.
Exhibiting artists: Phoebe Blatton and Annika Hüttmann, August Fröhls, Nadia Hebson, Stanya Kahn and Harry Dodge, Ellen Lesperance, Sophie Macpherson, Julia Schmidt, Clemence Seilles, Clare Stephenson
The title of the show ‘I See You Man’ is taken from work by Stanya Kahn and Harry Dodge.
On Saturday 31st March Celine will host an afternoon of performance, readings, talks and a reading group where the following texts and related material will be discussed. The below books and texts will be available throughout the duration of the exhibition.
Ingeborg Bachman, Three Paths to the Lake
Lucia Berlin, Manual for Cleaning Women
Kate Briggs, This Little Art
Daniela Cascella, Singed
Elfriede Jellinek, Jackie http://siti.org/sites/
Carla Lonzi, Autoritratto
Dorothy Richardson, Painted Roofs
Natasha Soobramanien Five Notes on Smarginature https://
Christa Wolf, The Quest for Christa T