15 – 16 November 2018
‘When I first meet Forensic Anthropologist Professor Sue Black, I tell her I have been trying to write about bone as a storage device, a material which like an archive keeps a record of past events. In response, she tells me about the otic capsule, also known as ‘the bony labyrinth’. Located in the inner ear with the cochlea, the organ for hearing, this bone does not remodel in adult life. Glycoproteins, which suppress bone turnover, ensure it stays exactly the same size and shape from birth to death. Professor Black explains that from a sample of this bone she can find out what my mum was eating during pregnancy; effectively, I store a piece of her within me throughout my life. I leave with questions: how might ‘the bony labyrinth’ translate into architecture? What kind of body is the artist studio? Can I write about gentrification as sharp or blunt force trauma, as an ossification of the city?’
Naomi Pearce’s OSTEON disrupts the pattern of Matt’s Gallery’s series of 10-day shows with a 3-day continuous spoken-word performance.
Taking its title from the fundamental functional unit of much compact bone, the performance collages fragments of an in progress mystery novel, field notes from a teaching mortuary, interviews and archival research.
Less a feat of endurance, more an exercise in decelerating her writing, Pearce draws on the histories of 92 Webster Road and its occupants, asking; who gets to give voice to other people’s lives? What information about a person is important? Can we feel each other’s presence without having to be seen? Who is listening?
For the duration of the performance Pearce will occupy the cavity between Tomas Klassnik’s 3x3x3 metre gallery space and the pre-existing architecture of the building. An enlarged papier-mache model of the bony labyrinth distorts and amplifies her voice, transmitting it into the otherwise empty room.
A text transcript will be available for Deaf/Hard of Hearing audiences on request.
Matt’s Gallery thanks the Arts Council England and Ron Henocq Fine Art for their generous support.