BioFriction Residency by Kira O’Reilly -Summer 2020

Menopause batteries and endocrine piracy

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Environmentally menopausal is also a terming that acknowledges the Body (ie the discursive, material semiotic) as being expanded, contingent and provisional whilst also, in the lineage of feminist practice as being deeply tethered to the specific and particular of the personal and lived immediacy of intimacy of my body. In the realm of mainstream cultural commentary, menopause is enjoying a moment, an important one that dares to speak its name, discuss and parlez it’s vicissitudes, but generally in terms that do little to change imposed traditional constructions of female corporal experience, ie, symptomising and medicalising. The stoppage of menses and the complex cascades of physiological, psychic and expressive effects and affects are little acknowledged or explored. Her project of reframing the menopause is a utopian vision and enactment, an extant, celebratory articulating that revels in re-cognising the energetic potentialities of the marvelous shift. It holds an embracive and inclusive purview.

The term menopause batteries was coined in a conversation with her colleague and friend Laura Beloff. Endocrine Piracy is inspired by the departures from the known and hitherto familiar of menopause experience.

Menopause is turbulent, one needs sea legs that are study and can move in accordance with changing weather, fortunes and seas. One is literally out at sea, uncharted sea over which the normal starry constellations are absent. There are starts but they are arranged into hitherto unrecognisable orientations, the cardinal points have all shifted, perhaps the poles have moved to the equator and Lapland has come to me.

BIO

Kira O’Reilly is an Irish artist based in Helsinki, her practice, both willfully interdisciplinary and entirely undisciplined stems from a visual art background, it employs performance, biotechnical practices and writing with which to consider speculative reconfigurations around the body. She makes, writes, teaches, mentors and collaborates with humans of various types and technologies and non-humans of numerous divergences. Her practice has developed across several contexts from performance and live art, to interfaces of art, science and technology, and to movement based work.

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