Eileen Quinlan
Dune Woman
1 June – 29 July
Campoli Presti, London

Campoli Presti is pleased to announce Dune Woman, Eileen Quinlan’s seventh solo exhibition with the gallery. Quinlan’s work is concurrently on view at the 57th Venice Biennial. Her works are exhibited at the Arsenale, as part of the exhibition Viva Arte Viva, curated by Christine Macel until 26 November.

For her exhibition at Campoli Presti, Quinlan presents a wall of new works that continues her exploration of different regimes of image production – from the digital to the analogue, the downloaded to the photographed. Quinlan meditates on the pre-eminence of vision over our other senses and invokes touch as a means of communion with the tangible world.

The immaterial effects of our screenic devices, and their vertiginous flow of images, continuously frustrates our sense of touch, leaving us in a stupefied state where reality itself becomes fragmented. Quinlan’s haptic, textured photographs, unframed and immediate, present images of sand, skin, and chemical deposits on the film itself, confronting the viewer with a longing for physicality. In a context of environmental collapse, war, and mass shootings, Quinlan’s apocalyptic images reckon with our overwhelmed condition and general state of precarity.

Reflecting on Kobo Abe’s existential novel “Woman in the Dunes”, she considers the accumulation of domestic labor in Sisyphean terms – like encroaching sand, it threatens annihilation. For Abe, the house in the pit becomes a world unto itself, perched at the edge of the abyss. For his characters, male and female archetypes, it’s both a prison and an eden.

Quinlan’s nudes, a project she has undertaken since 2014, were born of an insurgent desire to continue making art under the time-constrained, inspired circumstances of new motherhood. As her world shrank, her bathroom became a studio where identity, sexuality, mortality, and the domination of women’s bodies could be confronted. The glass shower wall, itself ossified sand, acts as both a limit and an imaging surface where Quinlan’s compressed, abstracted body is rendered. Like the house at the edge of the dune, the glass both confines and supports what could otherwise slip into nothingness.

Eileen Quinlan lives and works in New York. She is participating in the 57th Venice Biennial this year, as part of the exhibition Viva Arte Viva, curated by Christine Macel. Quinlan’s work is included in public collections such as MoMA, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and FRAC (Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain), France. Quinlan’s work was recently presented at the Whitney Museum, New York in Collected by Thea Westreich and Ethan Wagner; at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway and formed part of New Photography 2013, curated by Roxana Marcoci at MoMA, New York. Quinlan had a two-person exhibition at The Kitchen, New York in 2012 and a solo exhibition at the ICA in Boston in 2009. Past group exhibitions include Rites of Spring at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2014), What is a photograph at the International Center of Photography, New York (2014) and All of This and Nothing at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011).