The Tetley

LUCY BEECH: ME AND MINE

16 JULY – 27 SEPTEMBER

Join us for the launch on Wednesday 15 July, 6-8PM. Free, all welcome.

Me and Mine is artist Lucy Beech’s first major solo exhibition in the UK. Focused on the ways in which women construct and sustain communities, the work on show at The Tetley is developed out of Beech’s extended body of research around emotional labour and the function of the individual in a group. The raw materials for these ‘re-enactments’ are fabricated from research collected through engagement with workshops and networking events; situations that demand group performance whilst blurring the boundaries between work and play.

Central to the exhibition is Me and Mine (2015) Beech’s most ambitious film work to date (commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella). Beech constructs an interpersonal drama that examines how the so-called feminine ‘virtues’ of empathy and relationality have gained increasing currency within historically male dominated industries.

Set between a traditional undertakers and an annual award ceremony, defined by one of its participants as the ‘nucleus of the funeral industry’s female revolution’, the film follows a female undertaker as she negotiates her way through the shifting landscape of the funeral business, as well as her experience as a woman among women.

Ostensibly a study of the cultural and economic forces surrounding the business of death, Me and Mine is concerned with ideas of transition: between social groups, private and public worlds, tradition and innovation, the individual and the group. The film demonstrates how the idea of community and interpersonal relationships sits ambiguously with an increasingly assertive politics of the self.

The exhibition is accompanied by a text about Me and Mine written by Naomi Pearce. Pick up a free copy or borrow one from the gallery desk

Group dynamics are further explored in Cannibals and the dual-screen work Buried Alive (both 2013).

Cannibals

Built from research into multi-level marketing schemes, Cannibals focuses on an all-female support group ‘Women Empowering Women’that adopted an ethos of self-change as a vehicle for a non-sustainable business model.

This work traces how notions of female empowerment can operate as an authoritative branding tool: WEW emerges in Cannibals as a traditional pyramid scheme; a microcosm of a capitalist system, mirroring an image of unsustainable growth.

The tiered structure is referred to through euphemisms such as ‘appetiser’, ‘main course’ and ‘dessert’. Before they eat, the women participate in ‘emotional circuit training’; the body is ‘tenderized’ in preparation for selfconsumption.

The fictional process deteriorates when one of the participants observes this pseudo-therapeutic process to be eating away at itself.

Buried Alive

Adopting friendship as a business model, Buried Alive is a multi-screen work that
documents a fictitious workshop in leadership.

Playing with fabricated ideas of ‘emotional entrepreneurship’ in which wellbeing is circulated as the principle commodity, the films follow a group of women learning to ‘capitalise’ on their own experiences in order to build their own homespun, therapeutic methodologies.

The tiered structure is referred to through euphemisms such as ‘appetiser’, ‘main course’ and ‘dessert’. Before they eat, the women participate in ‘emotional circuit training’; the body is ‘tenderized’ in preparation for self-consumption.

The fictional process deteriorates when one of the participants observes this pseudo-therapeutic process to be eating away at itself.

Events

In Conversation
Wednesday 9 September, 6-8pm

Join us for this FREE event with artist Lucy Beech, British Art Show 8 curator Anna Colin and writer Naomi Pearce, focusing on Beech’s new film Me and Mine.
Booking essential, book your free place here.
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About The Artist

Lucy Beech (born 1985) lives and works in London. Recent and forthcoming presentations of her work include: Frieze Live, Frieze, London; James Fuentes Gallery, New York; Lisson Gallery, London and the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston (all 2015). Her work has been included in group exhibitions and screenings at the ICA, London; Chisenhale Gallery, London; GAK, Bremen, Germany and V22, London (2013-14). Beech will be part of Selected V presented by Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network and videoclub, a screening programme touring throughout 2015 to venues including the CCA, Glasgow; CIRCA, Newcastle; Fabrica, Brighton; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Nottingham Contemporary.

About Film and Video Umbrella

Film and Video Umbrella (FVU) commissions, curates, produces and presents artists’ moving-image works that are staged in collaboration with galleries and other cultural partners. Since the late 1980s, FVU has been at the forefront of this vibrant and expanding area of practice, promoting innovation through its support of some of the most exciting figures on the contemporary scene.

During this time, the organisation has commissioned and produced nearly 200 different artists’ projects, ranging from ambitious multi-screen installations to shorter film and video pieces, as well as numerous online commissions. Me and Mine is commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella (FVU), with the support of Harris Museum & Art Gallery, The Tetley, The Fenton Arts Trust, The Elephant Trust and University of East London, School of Arts and Digital Industries. With thanks to Open School East. FVU is supported by Arts Council England.

Join in the conversation on social media using #MeAndMine and #LucyBeech
Twitter: @The_Tetley
Twitter: @FilmVidUmbrella
Instagram: @TheTetley
Facebook: wwww.facebook.com/TheTetleyLeeds
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Exhibition supported by

Film and Video Umbrella, with the support of Harris Museum & Art Gallery, The Tetley, The Fenton Arts Trust, The Elephant Trust and University of East London, School of Arts and Digital Industries. With thanks to Open School East.

The Tetley would like to acknowledge the generous support of J&C Joel in staging Me and Mine at The Tetley.

Image credits: Image stills from Me and Mine courtesy of the artists and Film and Video Umbrella.