Being Horizontal

Lynne Kouassi & Nora Heidorn, David McGovern, Julie Morrissy, Harold Offeh

Project Arts Centre, Dublin
Opening 2 February, 6 pm
3 February – 18 March 2023

Curated by Nora Heidorn

The standard enlightenment representation of the human body is of a singular, upright, able-bodied man, gazing forward. Being horizontal, and especially being looked at and imaged in positions of recline, is often associated with feminised and racialised powerlessness.

We encounter reclined bodies in different situations in our lives, in images, and stories: persons sleeping or resting, having sex, the unwell, injured or deceased. Common tropes include the reclined nude, the fallen soldier, the psychoanalysis patient, and the birthing woman. Deliberately assuming a horizontal position in front of others can challenge, subvert, and politicise dynamics of vulnerability and power.

This group exhibition will explore what individual and collective orientations out of the vertical plane and into varying degrees of incline might indicate about being in relation, about interdependency and care. For example, how might the simple but charged acts of reclining, lounging, or collapsing be reimagined as critiques of the neoliberal drives for efficiency, productivity, speed, and independence?

Lynne Kouassi’s and Nora Heidorn’s installation is kindly supported by Kunstkredit Basel-Stadt.