DISEMBODIED

Jeanine Brito / Joshua Hagler / Ho Jae Kim / Rae Klein / Yoora Lee / Laurens Legiers / Tali Lennox / Jorge Peris / Mosie Romney / Nicola Samori / Krista Louise Smith / Nadia Waheed / Curated by Ben Lee Ritchie Handler

January 19 – March 9, 2023

Press Release

DISEMBODIED HEATHEN FLESH
SEPARATE THE SOUL FROM SELF
POUND OF FLESH WE LEFT BEHIND
OUT OF BODY OUT OF MIND
CONSCIOUSNESS ON RAZOR SHELF
SEPARATE THE SOUL FROM SELF
LIFE AND DEATH BECOME ENMESHED
DISEMBODIED HEATHEN FLESH

— Excerpted from DISEMBODIED, by EUNUCH FORESKIN. Seraphic Decay Records, 1993.
 

The first time I took acid was the first time I kissed a boy. I was twelve, he was fifteen. He held it on his tongue, I touched mine to his, and then we took turns trading tongues and mouths back-and-forth, back-and-forth. It wasn’t long (or it could have been days) before my spirit left my body, and I was watching my hands caress his neck, his tug at my shirt and pull my hair. What would my friends say if they saw my body now? What would my parents think? Is this fun? Is it frightening? I telegraph all of these questions back to myself from hundreds of miles above, but my face, still on earth, remains locked to his. I hear it sigh with pleasure.

–––––

My rabbi would entice me to come to our thrice-weekly classes with after-hours Kabbalah instruction in the leadup to my Bar Mitzvah. If I read my torah portion correctly, she would teach me how to inscript and bury an incantation bowl, speak to dead relatives, and enact other ritual performances of adjuration. Once she had me fast for twenty-four hours before our lesson—that night we crafted a spell to protect the Jews from famine. Another evening we blew the shofar to usher peace to the Middle East. The weekend before I became a man, we said Kiddush over the wine. The walls dropped from the synagogue around us and a booming voice chanted these eight words over and over: OUR SOULS ARE FERTILIZER, OUR LIVES ARE BROTH. To this day they haunt me.

–––––

I’m at the maternity ward with my wife. I’m about to be the father of twins. Her water breaks and my eardrums explode. Color envelopes the room. When I regain consciousness, I am wired to a metallic operating table, a rainbow of tubes inserted into my arms and legs injecting and extracting liquids into and out of my body. This is not the same hospital I was in just a moment ago. A tentacled figure approaches. I gasp for air to scream, but am blinded once again by a throbbing surge of technicolor. I awake on Skid Row downtown with a scar on my hip. It is a hexagonal keloid, raised and firm. I stumble over to a nearby newsstand, and manage to swipe a newspaper before the clerk shoos me away. The scar on my hip pulsates when I read the header: two years have passed.

–––––

I clean myself up as best I can at a local shelter, enough to convince a cabbie passing-through that I’m a stranded tourist. I have to see my wife and children. My scar palpitates at an increasing tempo as we approach our house, as the fare rises exponentially. I have no money. I cannot afford this. Fireworks detonate in my head, and for a fraction of a second I dissociate. I am the car, I am the asphalt, I am a suburban lawn. A carousel of lights jar me back into my body. It’s a police siren. My wife is crying on the sidewalk, surrounded by men in uniform, two small children screaming beside her. There is blood on my shirt, arms, and hands.

— Selected excerpts from Out of Body: The Bortz Metzger Memoirs, R. Driblette, editor. Penguin Books Ltd, 2002.
 

DISEMBODIED builds and continues conversations around the violence, ecstasy, and epiphany within out-out-body experiences as-seen from the perspective of those on the ground—the leaps of faith we take to believe those who say their souls depart while their bodies remain. The works in the exhibition cover a wide swath of allegorical and tangible disembodied states, including the spiritual, the telegraphic, the psychedelic, the dissociative-induced, artificial intelligences, and alien encounters.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Rae Klein

Liar's Dream, 2022

oil on linen

213.36h x 182.88w cm

84h x 72w in

Rae Klein

Liar's Dream, 2022

oil on linen

213.36h x 182.88w cm

84h x 72w in

Tali Lennox

The Little Death, 2022

oil on linen

45.72h x 35.56w cm

18h x 14w in

Tali Lennox

The Little Death, 2022

oil on linen

45.72h x 35.56w cm

18h x 14w in

Tali Lennox

Wands, 2022

oil on linen

66.04h x 45.72w cm

26h x 18w in

Tali Lennox

Wands, 2022

oil on linen

66.04h x 45.72w cm

26h x 18w in

Ho Jae Kim

A Thought, 2023

oil, inkjet transfer, paper, enamel on canvas

76.20h x 50.80w cm

30h x 20w in

Ho Jae Kim

A Thought, 2023

oil, inkjet transfer, paper, enamel on canvas

76.20h x 50.80w cm

30h x 20w in

Jeanine Brito

Everything I did, I did for love, 2022

acrylic on canvas

167.64h x 127w cm

66h x 50w in

Jeanine Brito

Everything I did, I did for love, 2022

acrylic on canvas

167.64h x 127w cm

66h x 50w in

Laurens Legiers

Lurking Lobster, 2022

oil on canvas

47.24h x 37.40w in

119.99h x 95w cm

Laurens Legiers

Lurking Lobster, 2022

oil on canvas

47.24h x 37.40w in

119.99h x 95w cm

Nadia Waheed

Disembodied, 2022

oil on canvas

84h x 72w in

213.36h x 182.88w cm

Nadia Waheed

Disembodied, 2022

oil on canvas

84h x 72w in

213.36h x 182.88w cm

Yoora Lee

Falling, 2022

oil on linen

96.52h x 76.20w cm

38h x 30w in

Yoora Lee

Falling, 2022

oil on linen

96.52h x 76.20w cm

38h x 30w in

Rae Klein

Liar's Dream, 2022

oil on linen

213.36h x 182.88w cm

84h x 72w in
Tali Lennox

The Little Death, 2022

oil on linen

45.72h x 35.56w cm

18h x 14w in
Tali Lennox

Wands, 2022

oil on linen

66.04h x 45.72w cm

26h x 18w in
Ho Jae Kim

A Thought, 2023

oil, inkjet transfer, paper, enamel on canvas

76.20h x 50.80w cm

30h x 20w in
Jeanine Brito

Everything I did, I did for love, 2022

acrylic on canvas

167.64h x 127w cm

66h x 50w in
Laurens Legiers

Lurking Lobster, 2022

oil on canvas

47.24h x 37.40w in

119.99h x 95w cm
Nadia Waheed

Disembodied, 2022

oil on canvas

84h x 72w in

213.36h x 182.88w cm
Yoora Lee

Falling, 2022

oil on linen

96.52h x 76.20w cm

38h x 30w in