Gaby Sahhar and Rosie Grace Ward 

with a text by Porpentine Charity Heartscape

Opening: 2nd March 2018, 6-9PM
Exhibition runs: 3rd March 2017 – 29th March 2018

"This is not the earth, where things are weighed down. This is the air, where porn physics reign. A furnace where hundreds of thousands of dollars burn to make real life feel like someone's aesthetic blog. They must live in this hyper-real atmosphere like alien birds.

The rich woman is joking with everyone and pouring star wine and cutting people's lines with horrific friendliness. It's so weird in this city, how they try to pretend we're the same. As if having a million dollars and the ability to make pain stop at any time didn't make us totally different animals."

– Porpentine Charity Heartscape, in Psycho Nymph Exile

In the grimy sci-fi future of Porpentine Charity Heartscape’s Psycho Nymph Exile, the reader follows the lives of two traumatised women, living in an unchartable anime world of violence, despair and kudzu. Set in the fantastical city of Mjar Opti, the novella presents a grubby dystopia pieced together from pulp fiction, erotica and video games tropes. Following a long tradition of science fiction writing, Heartscape uses the shiny veneer of giant fembots and futuristic tech to ‘encrypt the truth’ of her thoughts and experiences of real contemporary life.

In Sahhar’s paintings, masculinity pumps into the polished gutters of the high street from gentrified gyms and wifi-enabled cafes. At what point does the individual become gentrified? Where is the boundary between the inner body and public space? Sahhar’s paintings communicate these questions as well as personal feelings of alienation by the male gender. Centred around an understanding of how the actions of men fuel the changes and gentrification occurring in London, Sahhar uses painted avatars to look at how gendered identity and masculine characteristics inform and shape such processes – to the detriment of others and specifically, the oppressive effect this can have on the queer body and communities.

‘This is not the earth, where things are weighed down’; this exhibition imagines a fictional space, following a long tradition of dystopian art and literature (such as Porpentine Charity Heartscape’s novella Psycho Nymph Exile). Totally Different Animals presents a critique of hyper-masculine neoliberal capitalism under the sleek guise of the cyber-gothic. 
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