Bad Limbs | Rebecca Molloy

Bad Limbs
Rebecca Molloy

Gallery 2
12.11.16 – 25.11.16
Thurs – Sat 12 – 6 pm

Body – The physical structure, including the bones, flesh and organs
Anatomy – The branch of Science concerned with the bodily structure of humans
Dehumanised – Deprived of human qualities

Lovely, lovely, lovely limbs
I can’t stop thinking about the skin dream
Bad, bad, bad limbs
Sometimes the most important thing is to be clean

Bad Limbs is an exhibition of paintings, objects and video that considers the role of the body within physical and digital realities. Molloy explores the difference between how the body and objects feel and look in the physical world compared to their digitised version. Molloy approaches this playfully, plucking imagery from popular visual culture and translates the layering and flatness we associate with digital languages into physical works.

Her paintings present absurd scenes drawn from the traditions of still life painting. Fingers, teeth, eyeballs and other fragmented body parts act as inanimate objects that interact with shapes, textures and other objects forming images that both attract and repel. The paintings reference fashion and product advertising; soft pastel colours and the compositional techniques employed in marketing campaigns are re-appropriated into Molloy’s picture plane. In both the paintings and sets, compositions are reduced to minimal components, offering up pictures of a world that may seem simple but are rather more complex and disturbed.

For Molloy’s video work Lay Those Eyes Down, dancers were instructed to move around a set where constructed cactuses acted as props, backdrop and phallic monuments simultaneously. The performers were instructed to activate objects made by the artist, which included ludicrous yet grotesque eyeballs, fans and fruit. Lays Those Eyes Down references music videos by pop artists such as Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj, where the female body is used as a sexual object to seduce the viewer. Here Molloy explores femininity, sexuality and beauty, reorganizing dance sequences and choreography to represent it as something that is both sexy yet strange.

As well as an interest in the way female beauty is portrayed online, Molloy also explores the complex social interactions between women that can be seen within contemporary music videos. The ‘group’ or ‘tribe’ are considered in particular and in Lay Those Eyes Down certain signifiers are employed to express a difference between the three main dancers and their accompanying performers. Part-based on the Greek Myth, The Judgement of Paris, the leading dancers wear different outfits and stronger make-up, alluding to a higher sense of status and more beautiful qualities. Here the behaviour, relationships and hierarchical systems that exists amongst women are explored, with roles such as teacher, learner and observer underpinning the structuring of each scene. Bad Limbs is an exhibition that reinterprets the way the body is represented throughout historic and contemporary visual culture and is turned into a reality that hints at dreams and desires.

Lay Those Eyes Down, 2016

Director, Producer, Editor and Concept
Rebecca Molloy

Nalini Thapen

Assistant Directors
Henry Gardiner and Will Reid

Camera Director
Henry Gardiner

Camera Assistant
Maeva Chiariglione

Denise A
Abi Box
Leena Chauhan
Jane Hayes Greenwood
Rebecca Molloy
Katie Pendleton
Kirsten Schoon