Cally Spooner: On False Tears and Outsourcing
This catalog coincides with the New Museum exhibition Cally Spooner: On False Tears and Outsourcing. It is the first New York museum exhibition of British artist Cally Spooner (b. 1983, Ascot, UK; lives and works in London). On False Tears and Outsourcing will comprise a series of architectural additions to the gallery space and the presence of a group of dancers who will respond to conflicting choreographic instructions: to stay intimately bound together while remaining fiercely separate. Trained by rugby players and a movie director, and following the logic of a “stand-up scrum”-a daily meeting often used in collaborative, responsive practices such as software development-the dancers will learn a set of techniques taken from contact sports, management strategies, and on-screen romance. Through attempts to seduce, defend, and self-organize, the group will devise a sequence of movements in response to simple tasks set by Spooner. The long glass wall that separates the Lobby Gallery from the New Museum Lobby will be a central feature of the installation. Using the gallery’s condition of high visibility, Spooner will consider the characteristics of corporate and museum architectures by amplifying and exaggerating certain qualities in the space through the use of soft acoustic panels, daylight bulbs, and background noise. Through this intersection of bodies and architectures of management, Spooner will examine how power presents itself when it comes into contact with the human body.
On False Tears and Outsourcing is part of Spooner’s long-term project of the same name, which was initiated at Vleeshal Markt, Middelburg, the Netherlands, in 2015. Considering the production of affect, the contradictions faced by hired bodies, and the dynamics of using or being used as a human resource, the project stages situations in which a heightened demand for communication drives the outsourcing of personal investment to readymade gestures and protocols.
New Museum; 2016; Softcover; 7 ¼" x 9 ¾"; 117 pp; Color images throughout; ISBN 9781942607342