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Current Exhibition

Current Exhibition

to avoid falling apart

Emmie mcluskey and janice parker

to avoid falling apart is an exhibition of new work by Emmie McLuskey and Janice Parker made specifically for the Travelling Gallery. This two-person show explores our human capacity for connection and inter-dependence through movement, language, and film.

Together Emmie and Janice developed a movement workshop for an invited group of ten friends and colleagues. The workshop asked people to work in pairs with specific movements that focus on the physical act of counterbalancing – where two human bodies lean against or lean away from each other in an act of mutual support. This process of physical listening is a constant and shared negotiation, active and dynamic, we see each person searching for the points of balance between them in order to hold each other up and to avoid falling apart.

Five silent films playing on loop across a series of monitors and projectors, invite viewers to bear witness to, experience and feel these reciprocal acts. Through the hold of a wrist or the roll across a shoulder, we experience a kind of power in ourselves and in each other that is simultaneously about giving and receiving; allowing us to discover new ways of moving that we couldn’t do alone.

The artists’ approach to filming was led by the movement, with the camera capturing live, unrehearsed duets. Recorded over the course of an hour, the artists used five different cameras and three different formats to experiment with the various ways images can be created intimately and felt through the lens. The camera operators moving with, under, over and among the performers.

Accompanying the films is a collection of hand-written texts that have been created in response to the workshop, to the films, and to the wider propositions contained in the movement of counterbalance. These thoughts, illuminated in a custom-built lightbox, offer a way of looking, knowing and experiencing the work in words.

Both artists share an interest in how we live together, how we experience our moving bodies in society and how we communicate outside of spoken words, honouring the body as both the root of experience and as a potential route to change. The politics of support are intertwined in the actions and the artwork and through the work they question how we are allowed to move, what and whose movement it is we value and where the body and its movement are placed in the hierarchy of Western cultural norms. 

Janice Parker is an artist and choreographer, based in Edinburgh. She creates work in collaboration with people, place and context, and believes in art as an act of quiet, or noisy, activism, proposing and putting into practice personal, social and cultural change.

Emmie McLuskey is an artist based in Glasgow. She works with other artists to produce collaborative work; this has previously taken the form of publications, events, objects, conversations, writing and exhibitions.

Visiting the exhibition

The exhibition will tour to venues throughout Scotland in Travelling Gallery between March and May 2023. Venues will be added to our Tour Dates page as they are confirmed.