Bad Henry

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Solo exhibition, Kulturmagasinet Konsthall, Bergkvara, Sweden, 2016


photo : åsa strandberg

Hannah Harkes’ solo exhibition ‘Bad Henry’ explores the commonalities of birth and death, alongside divergency in approaches to living. Using the true historical tale of two brothers who shared both womb and tomb, the installation highlights the universal sameness of bodily behaviour in the months before and after life. This context serves as a backdrop for contrasting different types of behaviour in life – one high in emotion and adventurous action, guided by personal urge; the other loyal to familial and societal norms, rife with restraint.
Two synchronous timelines are present in the gallery space, with biographical details from birth to death represented not as textual trivia nor events loaded with specification, rather as visual glimpses of abstracted emotion.
The materials used in the exhibition are a direct response to the properties of the gallery space. The lightness of the printed fabric aims to draw attention to the movement of natural light in the gallery as well as to the roof and rafters; the brothers move through the room like ghosts, reminding us of our own transience. Meanwhile, a slimy substance pervades as a nod to Lacan’s lamella and to Sartre’s possible meaning of being.


Linocut on organza; borax-based slime, 2016

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