Susan Buttner, Maintaining the Illusion, Outwardly Performative, 2021, installation photograph, Louis Haugh, Draíocht Gallery, Dublin
TEXT/ Chewing Gum In My Hair
Part of the PLATFORM 21 - Worlds of Their Own Exhibition, curated by Sharon Murphy, Chewing Gum In My Hair, evolved over an intensive two year period of research and making. Set within an ethically sensitive frame work, Buttner collaborated with a small group of women, engaging in open conversation, sharing individual and collective stories of vulnerability and suffering.
This work considers the current ruling for cessation of surgical mesh used to repair pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, the historical/current detrimental health impacts on the individual and collective body and the politics of female subjectivity. Using a wide vocabulary of mediums sensitive to the nuance of material in balance to the context, Buttner considers the nature of both the material and the verbal difficulty of expressing pain, the political and perceptual complications that arise because of that difficulty.
The artist wishes to express a heartfelt thanks to the women who shared their experiences and to the RHA Dublin and Flax Art Studios Belfast who facilitated workshops, creating a space where women could come together to discuss the side effects of the mesh and the detrimental impact it has had on their lives.
Buttner is grateful for the Draíocht Incubate Studio Residency Award 2020/21 and for the Fingal County Council Bursary Awards 2020/21, this combined support helped facilitate and fund the research, the development and the making of this extensive body of work’.
Sara Muthi, writer and curator
Supple Violence, a reflection on Buttner's art practice.