The art of the fold explored in skin, fabric and cardboard

Farewells installation by Andrea Artz. Pic: Celine Wadhera

A new exhibition examining the “aesthetic, conceptual, ethical and sociopolitical implications of folds” has opened in Lewisham

Curated by Chahine Fellahi, 24, and Megan Garry-Evans, 24, the Folds Exhibition features 13 female artists exploring folds through the interplay of surface and depth, inside and outside, exposure and concealment, across a number of mediums including fabric, skin and cardboard.

Curators Chahine Fellahi and Megan Garry-Evans. Pic: Celine Wadhera

Fellahi, a visual artist and filmmaker, told Eastlondonlines that the exhibition was inspired by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s 1991 work.

“The fold is a way to deconstruct binaries and get out of the frame,” she said. In developing the exhibit, Fellahi said that she and Garry-Evans enjoyed the simplicity of the concept of a fold, alongside its “it’s capacity for infinite expansion.”

Garry-Evans, a London-based publisher, told Eastlondonlines that she was proud of how the exhibition had come together over the span of a year.

She said that most of the works of illustration, painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation had been procured through an open call, but a small number were commissioned specifically for the exhibition.

May Rohrer’s photograph, Becoming One, was one of the commissioned works.

Artist May Rohrer with her photograph, Becoming One. Pic: Celine Wadhera

Rohrer, a French photographer, told Eastlondonlines that her work was a self-portrait she had taken with her muse and contortion artist, Elena Ramos. She described the piece, and the folds represented within it as: “The ideal of fusion and passion. Like yin and yang mixing together. Flesh, textures and sensuality.”

Echoes and Callings by Weibke Leister. Pic: Celine Wadhera

Other works included artist Wiebke Leister’s series of photographs, Echoes and Callings, which trace the transformation of a frustrated woman into a “fierce demoness” by folding and layering photographs of masks and facial expressions to demonstrate an expressive range of emotion.

Visual artist and photographer Andrea Artz’s Farewells installation also featured prominently in the exhibition; its large cardboard sculptures are cut-out photographs of commuters that have been bent and folded into three-dimensional figures to exaggerate their posture, exploring themes of humanness, movement, displacement, and existential loneliness.

The opening evening also included a performance by artist Gen Doy, entitled I didn’t keep a list.

Performance artist Gen Doy. Pic: Celine Wadhera

In the performance Doy read from a leporello, or folded parchment, that spanned the length of the stairs where she was performing. The parchment contained the names of history’s so called “great lovers,” spanning from Alexander the Great to Don Giovanni to Donald Trump. Doy told Eastlondonlines that the piece sought to question the way in which society continues “to romanticise sexual predators of the past, whilst condemning those of the present, particularly within the #MeToo era.”

Fellahi told Eastlondonlines that the performance further served to fold the past into the present, as Doy had curated an exhibition on folds 20 years ago. Fellahi said: “Gen approached us, asking to be involved and we thought it was absolutely amazing.”

While Doy’s performance was for one night only, the Folds exhibition will be open until December 1 at Lewisham Arthouse. 12:00pm-6:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm- 5:00pm. Free.

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