The Body Politic



31st  January – 14th March 2019

Chloe Cooper. Rachel Fallon. Núria Güell. Jesse Jones. Eimear Walshe. Emma Wolf-Haugh.

“Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.” Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality (1976)

The Body Politic is a medieval metaphor which likens a nation to one autonomous being. The head of this body governs with divine authority, drawing strength and power from the masses below. Catalyst Arts presents a contemporary response to this concept in our exhibition The Body Politic.

Each of the works presented address different struggles against status, laws and narratives prescribed on our individual and collective bodies. Together they offer tools with which we may change the status quo.


Late Night Art 7th February 18:00 – 22:00

February 14th, 15th, 16th A Facility for Fluid Sharers workshop with Chloe Cooper

A Facility for Fluid Sharers is a sex education / paper marbling workshop by Chloe Cooper, which offers participants the opportunity to practice making choices together within the context of sexual relationships. It asks participants to consider which fluids they’d like to give and which they’d like to receive via the medium of paper marbling.

Participation is free. Please book through EventBrite

Late Night Art 7th March 18:00 – 22:00


Artist Bios

Chloe Cooper is an artist and educator. A Facility for Fluid Sharers has been informed by Chloe’s work with Bedfellows – a group of people who made tools together to re-educate each other about sex. Between 2014 and 2018 they held an assembly for sex educators at Chapter, Cardiff (2018); ran workshops for artists engaged in sexual politics at Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester and National Theatre, London (2018/17); put on a queer pornography screening at Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool and Tate Modern, London (2017/16); led a monthly research group for people interested in developing alternative sex ed models (2014-2018), ran consent workshops in schools (2015-2017); held a club night and built an open access research centre at Tate Modern, London (2016); led workshops for educators at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and Serpentine Gallery, London (2017/16) and facilitated a series of discursive forums at Artsadmin, London; University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Bergen Biennial, Norway; Serpentine Gallery, London and Tate Britain, London (2015-2017).

Rachel Fallon is a visual artist whose work deals with themes of protection and defense in domestic realms and addresses the topic of motherhood. Her arts practice encompasses sculpture, drawing, photography and performance, where the conflicts and ambivalences within familiar territories and fragile boundaries of power and trust that exist in familial relationships, all inform the choice of materials and technique for each work. The methods of making are crucial to revealing new ideas and resolving the thought processes intrinsic to the starting point of the piece. Sculptural subversions of military mottos and associated objects poke a finger at ideals of motherhood, linking past histories and politics to the roles women play in society today. As well as an individual practice, she is known for her collaborations with Irish and international artists and collectives; including Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, Desperate Artwives, The Feminist Parasite Institute, RAFT and The Tellurometer Project. She is a founding member of pff Publications – a feminist zine and Outpost Studios an independent artist-led studio. The two disparate ways of working feed into one another and are therefore equally important parts of her practice.

Núria Güell’s artistic practice analyses how power devices affect our subjectivity, subjecting it to law and hegemonic moral. The main resources that she uses in her work are to flirt with the established powers, complicity with different allies and the uses of privileges that artistic institutions she works with have, as well as those socially granted to her for being a Spanish and European. These tactics, diluted into her own life, are developed in specific contexts intending to question commonly-assumed identifications and cause a disruption in power relations. Güell has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona (Spain) and has continued her studies at the Cátedra Arte de Conducta in Havana (Cuba) and at Soma (México). Her work has been exhibited in biennials and museums in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the United States. She also collaborates with various self-managed social centres.

Jesse Jones is a Dublin-based artist. Her practice crosses the media of film, performance and installation. Often working through collaborative structures, she explores how historical instances of communal culture may hold resonance in our current social and political experiences. Jones’ practice is multi-platform, working in film installation, performance and sculpture. Her recent work proposes a re-imagining of the relationship between the Law and the body through speculative feminism.  Using a form of expanded cinema she explores magical counter-narratives to the State drawn from suppressed archetypes and myth. She represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2017 with the project ” Tremble Tremble” .Jones’ new work emerges from a rising social movement in Ireland which calls for a transformation of the historic relationship between the church and the state. Upcoming exhibition include “Still we Rise” at De La Warr Pavilion and a solo presentation at the Guggenheim Bilbao.

Eimear Walshe b. 1992 (they/them/their) is an artist, writer and educator from Longford, Ireland. They are a two-time Research Fellow at the Van Abbemuseum, recipient of a 2018 Arts Council Artists Bursary and Project Award. Walshe’s research centres queer theory and feminist epistemology towards the production of sculpture, publishing, performances, and lectures. Forthcoming exhibitions and commissions with the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven and Roscommon Arts Centre.Walshe will produce a commissioned exhibition text for The Body Politic reflecting on the country music hit Jolene by Dolly Parton.

Emma Wolf-Haugh is a visual artist and educator based in Dublin and Berlin. Weaving together installation, performance, publishing and collaborative workshop techniques, she is interested in re-orienting attention in relation to cultural narratives and develops work from a queer/feminist questioning of what is missing? Her practice is informed by previous experience in theatre and queer DIY club scenes, both sites where spaces and spatial relations are generated temporarily. The stage and the dance floor or darkroom are designed to focus attention via a set of aesthetic practices, including the manipulation of audio/visual, moveable hard/soft architectures, ephemera and the performing body. This has led to a continuing engagement with the aesthetics of club culture along with questions of spatial politics and an incorporation of theatricality as a means of making propositions.

Emma is co-founder of the artistic/curatorial collective The Many Headed Hydra together with Suza Husse, the artistic director of District Berlin.

Catalyst Arts and The Body Politic are kindly supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


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