Artist MANDEM is exploring painting as performance by creating this large-scale part of the Hypermobility series in a public studio space, allowing interactions with gallery visitors to inform the painting's evolution.
In this video, MANDEM paints during Negative Space Gallery's Open Mic Night (July, 2016).
We are a working family of artists, one of whom lives with the genetic disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) that causes failure of connective tissue. The Hypermobility painting series recenters that disability as a form of beauty through its interrogation of representational painting tradition. Using EDS-diagnosed studio models, the series captures moments where joints hyperextend or dislocate and the body moves into broken-seeming, impossible configurations. Our technique-oriented mixed media/oil paintings explode the line between medical documentation, protest, and art. This evolving series began during our residencies in Italy and England, where we focused on exploring the classical realist tradition and disability erasure in the Western art canon. We are now in a studio residency in urban Cleveland where our current large-scale painting is exploring paintings as a form of performance, textual integration, and the validity of representing and claiming the body in a postmodern world.
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