HAZE PROJECTS ∙ OCTOBER 2021 ∙ LONDON
‘Peach Fuzz’ was curated by Haze Projects for The Factory Project in London between the 9th - 22nd October 2021. Featuring works by Alexei Izmaylov, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Camilla Bliss, Sam Taylor, Grace Woodcock, Hamish Pearch, Jakob Rowlinson, Janina Frye, Marc Aurele Debut, Shinuk Suh, Nuka Nayu & Harry Appleyard, Sol Bailey Barker, Solanne Bernard, Sophie Goodchild and Tristan Pigott.
‘Granite Is An Acid Rock’ Aluminium, Perspex, Spray Paint, Reflective Material, Acrylic, Ink, Perforated PVC, Aluminium Mesh, Aluminium Composite Panel, LED Light, Motor. 3220mm x 3200mm x 2685mm. 2021.
A fruit that refuses to yield its pit can be called “clingstone” / The flesh grips stubbornly to its endocarp core, in defiance of fingers or claws / But the machine is hungry, her systems impeccably wrought / She will not be outdone by a stone fruit Peach Fuzz, a group show curated by Solanne Bernard and Camilla Bliss, is the outgrowth of a familiar myth. Since the late twentieth century, we have been cyclically conjuring and dissolving a neat conceptual binary between nature and artifice, integrating the genealogy of machines into our shared ancestry. This human experiment has invoked radical material change across bodies and landscapes alike via the cultivation of cybernetic technologies, as literary theorist Donna Haraway dissects in her 1981 essay The Cyborg Manifesto. Like Haraway’s manifesto, Peach Fuzz digs itself into the wavering breach between realness and artifice, grafting its own connective tissue into the margins. In this in-between zone, borders shimmer and destabilise, breeding more fluid iterations of humanness and sexuality, body, object and place. As predicted, cyberorganismic enhancement therapies have continued to dominate the market since the early 1990s. Products derived from fruit stones containing amygdalin (peach, plum, apricot, cherry etc.) are indicated almost universally for the bioenhancement of synthetic organisms. Recommended dosage of thirty or more stones (or equivalent) is likely to induce side effects including vomiting and hyperventilation, as the enzymatic decomposition of amygdalin and release of hydrogen cyanide trigger key biochemical changes to the machine’s structure. Primary indicators of successful treatment include the growth of fine vellus hairs over the surface of the exoskeleton and increased respiratory activity. Treatment may increase the organism’s market value by up to 300%. The peach’s soft down acts as a defence mechanism, effectively deterring predators from laying eggs in its flesh. This pubescent skin operates as a barrier to both physical invasion and to the parasitic growth and flourishing of interlopers. The malleable quality of the fruit’s emerging life is such that, without protection, it might easily be hijacked by a passing insect and converted into biofuel. Only the fruit’s teenage fuzz protects it from unwilling surrogacy, bodily occupation, sequestration by strange children. It is a carefully whispered boundary, the embodiment of soft power. The struggle persists / The machine’s small muscles vibrate with effort, her edges growing hazy and indistinct against the drupe’s furred skin / With a shshhshsslslooooooooooooooop, the fruit surrenders.
Text by Naomi Baldwin Webb
Granite Is An Acid Rock continues my practice of employing studies of the natural and the industrial as an analogy to explore my own personal heritage and timeline. This particular sculpture investigates the folkloric documentation of the Cornish Tin mining industry, specifically, its relationship with post-industrial subcultures and its visual interaction with the Neolithic Cornish landscape. Rather than being a direct re-creation of an existing structure, the work acts as a homage to that bygone industry, interpreted through my own artistic aesthetic. Throughout the sculpture, I subvert various language forms and linguistic functions as a means to input my own personal narrative and relationship with the themes at hand.