screen capture from TEETH GUMS MACHINES FUTURE SOCIETY, 2016
HD-Video, color, no sound, 3:55 min
image courtesy of the artist and Kunstverein Hamburg. Video courtesy of Clearing, New York/ Brussels; Kamel Menour, Paris; Emanuel Layr, Vienna and the artist.
Teeth Gums Machines Future Society is a project started in 2009 in a residency in Memphis, Tennessee. The work includes a series of films, performances, installations and texts that reflect further on body representation, popular culture with the social-political backdrop of the United States.
(..) A central element of the film, exhibition, and overall performance is the so-called grill—a jewelry worn over the teeth, which is typically made of precious metals. In Black music, especially in rap and hip-hop, the grill functions as a sort of relic and status symbol. Through her adoption of these objects as a white, European artist, REYNAUD-DEWAR knowingly raises provocative questions of cultural appropriation, impression, and transformation, as well as the legitimization of these acts. The connective link in this work is Donna Haraway’s 1985 text, A Cyborg Manifesto. This treatise—a feminist essay that employs, albeit in a partly ironical sense, a cyborg as a metaphor for the dissolution of conservative borders between humans, machines, and animals—propagandizes a state of chimerical fusion in which normative categories like class, gender, or race are discarded. Excerpts from Haraway’s text are part of the performance, while the grills themselves are reminiscent of a cybernetic body modification. Moreover, the discussions between the artist and the comedians consistently revolve around the reasons behind the discrimination of minority communities in Memphis and elsewhere. (…)*
* press release