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Webber London

18 Newman St

+44 (0) 20 7439 0678

Webber New York

35 E 1st Street

Basement West
New York
NY, 10003

+1 646 370 5713

Webber Los Angeles
939 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles
CA 90021

Tues - Sat | 11am - 6pm
By Appointment


Peckham 24
Mel Bles, Senta Simond

Peckham 24
17th - 19th May, 2019

Mel Bles
Marton Perlaki
Senta Simond

In the body, intuition and instruction can feel like opposing forces. Not least, in front of a camera; while still images are ‘still' by definition, posing requires movement. With this tool in-hand, the artist becomes a kind of choreographer; their subject’s movement, a kind of dance.
At Peckham 24, Webber examines this exchange afresh, through a series of newly created moving-image works by Mel Bles, Marton Perlaki and Senta Simond.
Through these artists’ respective lenses, movement becomes by turns raw, free and universal; prosaic, primal and difficult to endure; intrusive, and yet completely compelling.
Rooted in the intersection of movement, instruction and choreography, each of these works takes a unique approach to the body, reframing it as a vehicle for expression within the gallery space.

In unmediated movement, Mel Bles sees freedom, simplicity and universality. For Peckham 24, the artist creates a series of short films which seek to document exactly this; women, who are not dancers, using their bodies to express joy, magic and meaning.
“These short films are the start of small conversations between women and myself,” Bles explains. Free to express themselves however they wish without tools or direction to contaminate their use of the space around them, her subjects are invited to let themselves go, and to find new meaning in that sentiment.
In movement, the artist continues, a gesture or a turn can become an instrument of pure pleasure. It is a new language which, permitted by the camera, both artist and subject can learn to speak.

Birth, artist Marton Perlaki suggests, is perhaps the most universal of all events. We are all born, after all – though it’s generally accepted that we will not remember it. But if and when it is experienced for the second time, childbirth is governed by a unique set of forces, entirely other to those that dominate everyday life.
In a new moving image work created for Peckham 24, Perlaki collaborates with interdisciplinary artist Dorottya Vekony to consider this phenomenon through the intersection of conflicting ideas.
On one side, a split-screen film depicts strangers enacting the absurd standards expected of a body in labour. On the other, footage of the body, stuck, in everyday life, serves as a metaphor for birth’s imagined actuality. The film is narrated with authentic accounts, relayed by new mothers, of their own labours as, by turns, visceral, intuitive, profound and extreme.
In this collision of narratives, Vekony and Perlaki seeks to retrieve childbirth from the field of abstraction, rooting it instead in the extraordinary, and yet ordinary, experience of women around the world, throughout history.

In her photographic work, Senta Simond examines the human connection that exists between photographer and sitter, identifying the nuance of facial expressions and bodily gestures and capturing them on camera.
“RECORD”, a new video piece, amplifies this interpersonal study to powerful effect. Filmed, slowed dramatically down, and projected in ultra-large-format, the artist’s interaction with her subjects becomes at once compelling and uncomfortable to watch.
For the viewer, every tremor of a muscle is magnified, every emotional response heightened. The soundtrack – a dissonant, minimalist drone of background music, paired with the booming baritone of the artist’s spoken directions – only serves to compound this unease.
Simond is often asked how she directs her subjects. In this work, intimacy and exposure become bedfellows; the viewer is permitted access to the process, experiencing at once everything, and yet nothing at all.