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Launch - Shadow Shame Again & treading water: new commissions

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building, Online

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Peltz Gallery is delighted to announce two new artwork commissions by artist Penny Siopis (South Africa) and photographer Paris Petridis (Greece), exploring gender-based violence during lockdown and the human relationship with the sea. 
Book now to view the online launch at 6pm on Thursday 25 February 2021. You will recieve a link to view the works an hour before the launch date and time. 
Subtitles, captions and audio description will be available. 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people in South Africa have protested ‘the other pandemic’, referring to the proliferation of gender-based violence under the conditions of lockdown. Material published by UN Women shows that gender-based violence has increased globally during this time. Penny Siopis’ video artwork responds to this situation by speaking to the visceral emotion of shame. Using footage from her collection of found 8mm home movies (acquired from flea markets and charity shops), Siopis sets fragments of image sequences to words and sound. The work is a poetic evocation of ‘shadow shame’ as something that both embodies the loss of dignity and integrity, and offers fertile ground for empathy.

Just as in Britain, cold-water swimming has become increasingly popular in the Mediterranean during the pandemic. Accompanied by composer Michalis Lapidakis’ music, photographer Paris Petridis’ new video treading water features a series of photos, taken at a single beach in Thessaloniki, of people standing alone or socially distanced in the water. With increasing time spent staring at screens indoors, the imagery of anonymous people gazing at the horizon in a wide-open space is reminiscent of a less turbulent moment. But the artist also reminds us that the beach is not a neutral site, where in the context of 2021, images of people at sea also evoke perilous images of migrants crossing global waters.

About Penny Siopis 
Penny Siopis is a South African artist who is also honorary professor at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT. Working across media, all her explorations, whether with body-politics, memory, migration and grief or the relations between the human and the non-human, are characterized by what she calls the ‘poetics of vulnerability’ – embodied in the play between materiality and reference. Amongst her many international exhibitions are her work ‘Obscure White Messenger’ (2010) exhibited at Tate Britain in 2018, and her exhibition Three Essays on Shame at the Freud Museum in 2005. 
About Paris Petridis 
Paris Petridis (PhD) is an artist photographer living in Thessaloniki, Greece.  
His work has been presented in solo, group shows and Biennials of contemporary art internationally. Author of eight photography monographs, his interests focus on landscape, memory and the politics of space. He is currently adjunct lecturer at the University of West Attica. 

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