Heist meets Zoe Bedeaux. When tights and art collide.

Heist meets Zoe Bedeaux. When tights and art collide.

Posted by Heist on 21st Nov 2019


We're thrilled to be sponsoring Gossamer, a tights exhibition at the Carl Freedman Gallery, curated by artist Zoe Bedeaux.

The exhibition brings together the work of 22 artists who have each explored the medium of tights or stockings, from Louise Bourgeois and Man Ray through to Sarah Lucas and contemporary talents Enam Gbewonyo and Ma Qiusha.

We caught up with Zoe ahead of the exhibition opening - where she also gave a live performance - to talk curation, discovery and experience.

What does the process of curation mean to you?

"I am an artist, so you could say that I am a cultural archeologist of sorts. Often when people enter a field that they are not trained in, things become really interesting because they are operating outside of the usual paradigm and are not limited by what they have been taught.

The process of curation for me is primarily about unearthing, that’s what interests me. Secondly, it's about what we can learn from what we have excavated and, finally, how one conveys that information to an audience. As this is a gallery show rather than a museum one, the parameters are very different in terms of how that information is conveyed.

For this exhibition, I came up with the zine so that I could provide some background information into my thoughts and feelings around the premise. I wanted the show to be thought-provoking and have a didactic thread; that was very important.

I conjured the show I wanted to see. When I go to see a show, I want to learn something, to be introduced to something new. I don't think anyone who sees this show will view stockings or tights in the same light ever again, myself included."

Artists: Man Ray; Polly Penrose; Polly Borland.

You have previously talked about the importance of uncovering sources; what did you uncover when curating the Gossamer exhibition?

"What was uncovered was that it wasn’t just the premise of the show (tights and stockings) that connected all of the artists to each other; they were also linked by the politics of their work, and this then became the backbone of the show."

Gossamer at the Carl Freedman Gallery is your curation of 22 artists who have worked with the medium of tights; how did you go about selecting these artists? What drew you to their work, and was there one artist's experience of tights in particular that totally enthralled you?

"The selection process primarily consisted of looking at different artists and the narratives that their work conveyed.

Every piece in the show is enthralling to me. They are all so brilliant in their own right.

The work that most surprised me was Roman Stanczak’s sculptural performative film. You have to watch the film in its entirety to understand the purpose of what he is doing. Whereas with everything else, barring my piece, the transformation has already taken place and the end result is in front of you, with Roman’s piece you have to watch and wait, and it is a beautiful unexpected surprise.

The work of Marianne Berenhaut, who is 85 years old, also took me by surprise, simply because the work was so seminal and original yet she stood outside of the canon, very few people had heard of her. Yet when you see this body of work, you wonder how is that possible. People were thrilled to discover her."

What is your experience of tights and stockings? What do they evoke for you personally?

"For me personally, they evoke the skin we are in and that opens up a myriad of worlds, which ultimately questions our humanity. I view tights and stockings as having liberated and oppressed both men and women."

Artist: Daido Moriyama.

The Gossamer exhibition at the Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate is free entry and runs until 15th December 2019. Not one to miss, so make sure you swing by to see these incredible pieces of art.