Susan Buttner, Lying Recumbent Staring up at the Sky, 2021, installation photograph, courtesy the artist, Draíocht Gallery.
TEXT/ Draíocht Residency Award 2020/21
As a recipient of the Draíocht Incubate Residency Award, Buttner engaged in a period of extensive research and development within her practice. The works attempt to unpack the delicate evaluation of power relations, revealing tensions and forces by combining static elements, while highlighting the borderless, transgressive aspect of institutional critique.
Placing value in the process, mirroring bodily sentiments to contextual specificities and translating them in an artistic form present both in her object-based media and performance. With empathic morphology, Buttner engaged in a delicate intervention in the power relations that is manifested in the subsequent material representation. By revealing the tensions and forces, by combining static elements and pointing to their potential through the dynamic bodily sensorial experience, she highlights the borderless and transgressive aspect of our individual bodies and collective infrastructures.
Appealing to her own sensibility, Buttner used a wide vocabulary of materials, responded to sensations, the body orphaned from belonging, wrote notes, and translated these feelings into the materiality of her modular objects, assembled of juxtaposed yet contrasting soft and hard, small and big, sharp and round, industrially manufactured with crafted tissues. The artist explored bodily experiences of imposed force, diverse interventions investigating the relationships between the human body and its relation to an institution as a place of knowledge and power.