Donna Huanca: Sensory Exploration

The Zabludowicz Collection, London, hosts the first UK solo exhibition by performance-based artist, Donna Huanca. A series of sculptural installations and live performances commissioned by Maitreyi Maheshwari take place in the 19th century Methodist chapel: a collective presentation of the American artist’s career and an expression of identity and the body.

Huanca’s work focuses on the human form, drawing attention specifically to the skin as the surface through which we experience the world, through sensory exploration. It is also the material that holds our individual visual identity. Scar Cymbals examines the interaction between our bodies and the space surrounding us – presenting the naked form as an abstract decorative object. This becomes the canvas for Huanca’s collection, featuring performances by nude models concealed under layers of paint and latex.

As part of the installation, a three-storey glass structure, features in the Main Hall of the venue. Throughout the duration of the exhibition the translucent structure becomes increasingly opaque as models perform inside it, shedding their prosthetic layers and spreading smudges and splashes of colour from their painted bodies. Making deliberate and dramatic movements, the performers mark the space with their presence and identity, leaving behind a sense of visceral absence.

A collection of the artist’s early sound art projects is embedded throughout the show. These audio pieces are responsive to the movement and proximity of visitors’ bodies – giving viewers the control over this interactive feature. This event is a representation of skin and its many layers, as it presents a variation of different interactive elements for visitors to immerse themselves in. Using a combination of installation, sculpture, performance art and sound, viewers are invited to become increasingly involved; seeing beyond the surface and searching for a deeper analysis.

Donna Huanca: Scar Cymbals runs from 29 September – 18 December, Zabludowicz Collection, London.

Find out more:

Kaleidoscope: Donna Huanca in conversation at Frieze, London.

On the occasion of her concurring performance-led exhibition at Zabludowicz, and a profile that appears in the current issue of Kaleidoscope, Huanca will discuss her concern with the nude female body with Kaleidoscope’s editor-at-large Francesca Gavin, a writer and curator based between London and Berlin.

Find out more about the event:

1. Donna Huanca, Muscle Memory. Performance view, June 27–August 8, 2015. Peres Projects, Berlin. Courtesy of the artist and Zabludowicz Collection.