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03 Feb 16 - 03 Feb 16

The Death of Venus

Jennifer Taylor



Jennifer Taylor’s work explores ideas relating to a loss of control, malfunction, crisis and breaking points. In her new performance piece for TJ Boulting, she will enact a number of absurd scenarios with her ludicrously over-sized black balloons. Like unsophisticated sci-fi props, these cumbersome spheres fill the space with a brooding sense of anxiety, as they ominously hover at the point of bursting.

Dressed in a full bodysuit of the same uniform black, Taylor takes on the detached persona of a solitary, remote figure, who seems to be strangely connected to these sinister pods. It is as though she has been somehow brought under their control and forced to act as their host, as they endlessly seem to utilize her for their own unsavoury entertainments.

As they morph themselves onto her body, like some loathsome, abominable parasites, we are reminded of the Apocephalus borealis flies that lay their eggs inside the bodies of bees. The resulting larvae hatch and attack the bees’ brains, causing them to become disorientated and demented. The bees then develop highly abnormal behaviour patterns and end up walking around in repetitive circles. It appears that the figure in Taylor’s performance has somehow fallen prey to a similar parasitical take-over by the balloons, as she finds herself robotically performing bizarre and nonsensical routines.

We are left then with a farcical marriage between these clumsy want-to-be sci-fi heroes and their unlikely female heroine, acting out a makeshift pantomime of cyborgization. In a series of strange interactions, they manage to trap and confine her, seemingly attempting to induce in her anxiety and hysteria, which they greedily feed on as some vile source of sustenance. Within this abyss of hopelessness, our heroine finds herself endlessly suspended in a perpetual state of deranged crisis.