Couched, nighttime view, at Small House Gallery, London, curated by Eldi Dundee
Upcoming in May, 2024, Couched, curated by Eldi Dundee, will be featured at www.smallhousegallery.uk/coming-soon Small House Gallery, London.
Couched unfolds as an amalgamation of tufted wool and acrylic yarns in various colors intricately arranged on hessian (burlap), enveloping two meticulously restored Victorian dollhouses adjacent to each other—carefully brought back to life by Eldi Dundee. The toy residences now stand shrouded in the organic chaos of overgrown vines, a deliberate aesthetic choice that embraces the allure of abandonment, serving as the creative nucleus of the project.
Eldi's observation upon finalizing the work's installation, likened it to a couch, triggering a connection to Freud's legendary couch adorned with an opulent Iranian rug. This serendipitous association inspired the title Couched, a verb chosen not only for its physical resemblance but also to hint at concealed meanings, subtly acknowledging the psychological depth woven into the artwork.
Couched ventures into the realm of psychoanalysis, drawing inspiration from Freud's many theories on the unconscious mind, dreams, and the therapeutic process. The crafted lines of yarn, some resembling thick vines, cascade and snake up the dollhouses' walls, forming intricate patterns, loops, off-shoots, and stripes. Certain areas evoke the spontaneity of automatic writing, mirroring the inadvertent letters that crisscross one another—a visual representation of the complex thought processes shaping our minds.
The artwork not only pays homage to Freud's exploration of human thought on his rug-covered daybed, but also signifies hidden emotional connotations. This artistic choice establishes parallels with the profundity of the psyche, particularly in the context of migration.
The symbolic vines, persistent and intertwining, become a reflection of the cognitive nuances associated with leaving the familiar behind, embarking into the unknown, and assimilating into a new culture—a narrative resonant with the challenges and traumas inherent in transformative journeys. The interconnected threads within the artwork echo the convoluted interplay of emotions, memories, and experiences encountered on these voyages of self-discovery.
"Nationless" has been selected for Le Salon de Refusées at KrautArt in Berlin. www.krautart.de/about-space/