“It is thus not lack of cleanliness or health that causes abjection but what disturbs identity, system, order. What does not respect borders, positions, rules. The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite.” – Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror
LC Queisser is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Frankfurt based artist Hanna-Maria Hammari.
A series of sculptures, placed across the floor and hung on the wall, appear to be metallic animal trap shapes, formed to bodily curves. It’s unclear if these armatures are designed to protect, or harm, the body that wears them, and even unclear if they are meant to be worn at all. Drawn in by the functional ambiguity, by a desire to figure them out, the material reveals itself not as metal, but as ceramic glazed to look like steel. Upon first glance, the series proposes an image of itself, as a specific material for a specific purpose. But the more time one spends with it, the more the work reveals its own image as artifice. We are left with the material, its texture and color, and with the tensions of the forms, the sense that the trap is waiting to snap.
Lie in Wait works with the tension and shame that comes with the apprehension of what one’s body will produce. The exhibition looks at gestation, in pregnancy, and in the development of artworks, as a site of image production and projection, a site of imagining, often with a sense of terror, what one’s labors will bring. Resisting simplistic popular imagery of gestation as full of hope and bliss, Hammari focuses on the discomfort that comes with approaching the edge of one’s body as it produces another. Eliciting a sense of abjection and instability, the sculptures use material to represent this psychic tension, tight latex popping, stockings stretched over glass, a curved and drooping piece of wood.
In facing expectations around what and how we produce, resistance can be empowering. In examining the discomfort of this edge, Hammari looks at how the articulated of unease can be a way of bringing something important into focus.
– Marina Caron
Photography: Angus Leadley Brown