Every Ocean Hughes – One Big Bag

The first UK solo exhibition of Every Ocean Hughes (FKA Emily Roysdon).
One Big Bag centres on a Millennial death doula and the items in her ‘mobile corpse kit’. The immersive film installation asks vital practical, political and poetic questions contributing to a necessary and growing debate around end–of–life practices.

With a matter–of–fact demeanour and intense physicality, the death doula’s monologue guides viewers into the largely uncharted waters of ‘corpse care’. She performs her work with everyday items manipulated to profound use – caring for the newly dead as well as loved ones left behind. In the immersive installation these sometimes mundane items – cotton swabs, water bowls, ceremonial bells, snacks and painkillers – are suspended from the gallery’s vaulted ceiling. Each item is hung at the specific height it is used in relation to the body, allowing the audience to inhabit her work.

Hughes considers her subject from an explicitly queer perspective, exploring new references, vocabularies and aesthetics with which to reorient our approach to surviving and dying. Speaking to ritual, social and political questions about end of life practices, Hughes scrutinises the wider inequalities of the death industry including the economic burden of funerals, racism in medical care and funeral practices, and the bureaucratic barriers which effect queer communities and curtail individual agency in death.

Threaded with humour, grief, unknowing and a desire for justice, Hughes’ work encourages us to turn towards that which we strive so hard to avoid.

Duration 28 January 2022 - 17 April 2022
Times Wednesday–Sunday, 10am–6pm
Cost Free
Venue Studio Voltaire
Address 1a Nelsons Row, London, SW4 7JR
Contact 020 7622 1294 / info@studiovoltaire.org / www.studiovoltaire.org

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