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Where's the frame

Maribelle Bierens

January 25, 2023 4:36 PM


MAMA is presenting FETISH, their first group exhibition consisting of 11 intergenerational and international women artists, exhibiting the work of Ingrid Berthon-Moine, Basia Bieniek, Monika Chlebek, Janet Currier, Simone Haack, Jane Hoodless, Serpil Mavi Üstün, Lorena Prain, Florence Reekie, Maayan Sophia Weisstub, Caroline Wong.

This new London nomadic platform is committed to showing art by women artists, and their project’s name reflects that very thing. It’s the female counterpart of Dada, the experimental historical art movement of the European avant-garde at the beginning of the last century. According to founders Asia Éléonore Feliks and Sarah Emily, ‘MAMA stands for nurture / produce / birth; it is the feminised Dada.’ 

Florence Reekie, Waisted on You, 2022. MAMA Fetish, 2022. © Image Courtesy of MAMA and the Artist

Their exhibition, FETISH, ‘is a celebration that seeks to reframe the ‘fetish’ as something equally experienced and seen by women.’ 

Caroline Wong, Hungry Women (87_120), 2022. MAMA Fetish, 2022. © Image Courtesy of MAMA and the Artist

Fetish is an interesting topic to explore, considering how it’s usually assumed it’s anchored in the sexualised gaze of a heterosexual man who is fetishising a woman. ‘While ‘fetish’ is still often viewed from the domain of masculine sexuality, we open and untangle the notion of the fetish to a broader experiential spectrum of physical pleasure and iconography – through vision, touch, taste, smell, even sound.’ So it’s taken outside of the usual realm and approached in a broader way.  ‘In that sense, a fetish becomes both: a desire for an embodied state, stimulated by aesthetic and sensory stimuli like fabric, clothing, food and of course, nudity and the body, but also an idealised/sanctified entity, almost to the point of parody.’

Ingrid Berthon-Moine, Triple A, 2021. MAMA Fetish, 2022. © Image Courtesy of MAMA and the Artist

It also questions the concept of fetish being excessive, something to be concerned about. ‘The artists featured in the show challenge the stereotype of the hypersexualised transgressive fetish, suggesting that it extends far beyond into the realms of sensory delight and aesthetic fulfilment. In our approach, we stick to the notion of fetish as imbued in materiality; the fetish is physical, embodied and by consequence, fundamentally experiential, adding a phenomenological lens to the exploration of pleasure and desire.’

You can visit the show from the 4th to the 5th of February, 12-7 PM, with a private view on the 3rd of February, 6-9 PM, at 10 Greatorex Street. 

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