super feelings episode 4: Kate Cooper…

super feelings episode 4: Kate Cooper – Sanctuary Sites

Opening: 27 October 2022 at 19:00
de Appel, Schipluidenlaan 12, Amsterdam

I realise that the sweats are also inside me and I can see the whole landscape of my internal workings glisten with rage. There is always the intimation that I should pool these sensations in the hollows and maintain cover under some immutable surface.1

Back at the hospital the clicking and banging noise varies in volume and duration when the magnetic field alters. Inside the narrow tunnel of the MRI-machine, feelings of claustrophobia can occur. Tubed in, an advertisement for Unilever’s smoked pasture-raised pork sausage plays over my headphones. These are “prepared from the very best quality meat and wonderfully tender,” I cannot not hear.2

super feelings is a living exhibition which breathes, moves, shivers, grows and expands. Over the past 5 weeks, artists Jota Mombaca, Paola Siri Renard, Thuy-Han Nguyen-Chi and a group of collaborators have coloured the Aula’s daylight blue, rearranged sand dunes, summoned underwater myths, dug up fossils and crossed oceans. In the fourth and final episode of super feelings, Santuary Sites by Liverpool and Amsterdam-based artist Kate Cooper, we dive into the currents of the human body and its image.

Cooper presents a multi-channel moving-image work in de Appel’s Aula, with three large screens addressing the stage of the former high school’s auditorium. The work pulses and glows with x-rays of body fragments in constant motion, as the camera is turned inside the computer-generated bodies that Cooper utilises in her work. Through sound, light, movement and scale, Cooper invites the viewer to penetrate the skin of these digital bodies and to feel the internal workings of our own – breathing, sweating and metabolising before their digital representations.

In both its production and intended affect, the work employs the action of ‘stimming’, repetitive movements or sounds used by neurodivergent people as a means of a counter-stimulation or coping mechanism. Cooper is interested in stimming as a non-verbal form of communication and an ‘embodied form of resistance’ in a society dominated by production and exhaustion.

‘Stimming is, essentially, a physical action that blocks sensory overload from your environment. I … started to think about what would happen if the video itself performed in the same way as a body, causing a type of defiance towards your environment, a strategic coping mechanism.'3

On 27th October 2022, Cooper invites London-based writer and curator Rahila Haque and Amsterdam-based artist Jort van der Laan to perform texts from their respective research practices considering social, political and military notions of immunity, vulnerability, sovereignty and embodied practice. This live event extends an ongoing collaboration between Cooper, Haque and van der Laan, expanding the video works with voice and the bodies of the gathering audience.

About the artists

Kate Cooper lives and works between London and Amsterdam. Her recent exhibitions include; the 5th Aichi Triennial, Aichi (2022) Arken, Copenhagen (2022) the New Museum Triennial, New York (2021); Sonje Art Center, Seoul (2021); Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (2021); Selected solo exhibitions of her work include “Symptom Machine.” SCAD Museum of Art, Georgia; “Screens Series: Kate Cooper,” New Museum, New York (2020); “Symptom Machine,” Hayward Gallery, London (2019); and “Sensory Primer,” Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam (2019). Cooper’s work has been shown in group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (2021); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2020); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2020); University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (2019); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2018); Artspace, Sydney (2018); Riga Photography Biennial, Riga, Latvia (2018); and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2018). Cooper received the BEN Prize for Emerging Talent from B3 Biennial of the Moving Images in 2015 and the Schering Stiftung Art Award in 2014.

Jort van der Laan is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily with moving image and text. His practice involves threatened immunity thinking as an artistic method to trouble a military sense of self. Drawing from new-found intimacies and non-binary crossings to rethink categorical certainties, his work reroutes us to a different understanding wherein everything! is! important! and! alive! He is a PhD candidate at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University with research about auto-immune worldmaking/s.

Rahila Haque is a curator, writer and researcher based in London. Her work centres interdisciplinary modes of artistic and critical praxis through the possibilities and entanglements offered by Black and anticolonial feminist epistemologies. She is a PhD candidate at the centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) at Chelsea College of Arts, where she is also a member of the transnational research project Worlding Public Cultures. Rahila recently curated SERAFINE1369’s solo exhibition We can no longer deny ourselves at Somerset House, London, and is co-author of the forthcoming publication Britto: 20 Years, on the work of the Dhaka-based artist-led initiative Britto Arts Trust. Previously she has been a Research Associate at InIVA (2021-22); Residencies Curator at Camden Art Centre (2019-21); Assistant Curator for the 58th Venice Biennale exhibition May You Live in Interesting Times (2019); and recipient of a Gasworks/Triangle Network Fellowship (2018). Between 2009-15 she was Curatorial Assistant and Assistant Curator at the Hayward Gallery.

See also
1   extract from Rahila Haque, Strange Reverberations / The Same Parts, 2022
2   – extract from Jort van der Laan, With a Basket of Flowers and a Mouth Filled with Pollen, 2022
3   Kate Cooper in conversation with Jeanette Bisschops