Gasworks presents Ask Self-Doll, an online programme accompanying Eduardo Navarro’s first UK solo exhibition, (breathspace). For this programme, Navarro makes himself available to Gasworks' audiences in the form of Self-Doll (2020), a stuffed humanoid which has become a surrogate for the artist in a time of strict distancing regulations.
Members of the public are invited to submit a question to the artist in person at the gallery or online. Questions may address any topic ranging from the works in the exhibition to art, life, love or the universe. Navarro will answer selected questions in a series of online videos hosted by the artist's surrogate, Self-Doll.
Questions can be submitted via email: email@example.com
The third and final episode of Ask Self-Doll is dedicated to a younger generation of artists impacted by the pandemic. The episode is guest curated by the recent CCA graduates from the Royal College of Art, Benjamin Darby, Akis Kokkinos and Lenette Lua.
This special episode presents a series of encounters between Self-Doll and invited artists Divaagar, Eleni Tomadaki and Alix Villanueva, who have shed their corporeal forms to fully become online personas — appearing respectively as Other-Bear, Jerdino and La Dame à la Licorne. Together, they embark on a non-linear journey in search of answers and new questions that are relevant in a changing, uncertain landscape. Please scroll down for artist biographies.
Ask Self-Doll is supported by Vauxhall One.
Divaagar is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, performance, and digital media. He works at the intersections of bodies, identities and environments, imbuing narratives into places, spaces and situations. He graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2018 and has been exhibiting both locally and internationally since 2010. Notable exhibitions include The Soul Lounge, soft/WALL/studs (SG); The Lands Of, The Reef (LA); and Space Oddities, The Substation (SG).
Eduardo Navarro is an artist born in Buenos Aires. Recent solo exhibitions include MAC Niterói, Rio de Janeiro (2019); The Drawing Centre, New York (2018); Der TANK, Basel (2017); and Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2016). His work has featured at Castello de Rivoli, Turin (2018); TBA21–Academy, Vienna (2017); the São Paulo Biennial (2016 and 2010); the New Museum Triennial, New York (2015); the Sharjah Biennial (2015); MALBA, Buenos Aires (2015); and Mercosul Biennial (2013 and 2009).
Eleni Tomadaki is a visual artist based in London. Working interdisciplinarily across moving image, performance, text and digital media, she invents non-linear storytelling narratives to interrogate one’s relationship to the Other. She is interested in the multiple forms this Other can take, such as of language, society, the law, one’s own self, or simply of another. Through examining these relationships, she explores themes around belonging/not belonging, queer identities and power systems.
Alix Villanueva is a multimedia artist, working across writing, drawing, ritual, costume-making, myth-making and film, adapting her medium to the story she wants to tell. Through the self-defined theoretical lens of ‘cosmoecology,’ and her self-appointed status of ‘cosmoecologist,’ Alix investigates narratives that engage various spacio-temporal scales, linking individual beings to other beings, to landscapes and cosmologies, and stories that weave the ecological understanding of interconnectedness with the enchantment of lore.
Benjamin Darby is a UK-based curator, artist and researcher. He is a recent graduate of the MA Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art. His curatorial practice challenges predetermined conditions, conventions and cannons, through generating alternative discursive platforms to enable a diverse polyvocal array of dialogue.
Akis Kokkinos is a Greek curator based in South London. He has worked for major cultural institutions in the UK and Greece, private collections, as well as independent projects. Akis is a recent graduate of the MA Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art (2018-2020), fully funded by the NEON scholarship as well as the Schilizzi foundation, and the RCA continuation fund. He is currently setting up a contemporary art platform based on Chios island, called Deo projects.
Lenette Lua is a curator and practice-led researcher, recently graduated from the Royal College of Art. Her practice explores the possibilities of art in reconciling the contested political, economic, social and cultural spheres through a participatory and collaborative approach. She has spoken at international conferences at the University of Warwick and the University of South Wales. In 2020, she spoke at the 16th ELIA Biennial Conference hosted by Zurich University of the Arts with the support of National Arts Council Singapore.
The artists would like to thank Luca Asta and Alex Hackett for their collaboration.