Gray Wielebinski with HRH and Holly Blakey
27 November 2019
'water bb', 2019
Gray Wielebinski’s work across sculpture, installation, performance and film tends towards the exposure and creation of mythologies of power and identity in terms of gender, race and sexuality. With a particular fascination in the cultures of sport and the latent polarities of competition and belonging; machismo and eroticism; national identity and hierarchy; and performance and surveillance, Wielebinski’s creations conjure a strange but utopian hinterland populated by non-binary, sometimes non-human, figures of shameless vigour and desire.
Wielebinski frequently works with musicians, dancers and choreographers and Deptford X 2019 they have collaborated with costume designer and creative director, HRH, and choreographer and director Holly Blakey to create the new film and performance work water bb set in Deptford’s Wavelengths Leisure Centre. The film takes place in and around the centre’s atrium leisure pool and follows a cast of swimmers in an obscure training routine. It is not clear who the swimmers are or what they are training for but the choice of lighting and camera angles create a sense of surreality and ambiguous surveillance. The film is exhibited in situ, within a dance studio overlooking the pool, alongside costumes and props used by the cast. Alluding to illicit or sacrosanct queer spaces such as saunas or clubs, viewers of the work become inadvertent voyeurs in this parallel world of leisure, lust, competition and camaraderie.
Gray Wielebinski is an artist working between London and Los Angeles in print, video, performance, sound, sculpture, and installation. As they explore their own tenuous relationship with their gender and body, their work uses a variety of strategies through which to explore identity, specifically ambivalent relationships to masculinity.
HRH is a costume designer and creative director, often working on artist collaborations in video and performance. HRH has a long working relationship with Holly Blakey and has previously collaborated with Gray Wielebinski.
Holly Blakey is a choreographer and director whose work spans stage and screen. Blakey’s most recent work “Cowpuncher” was commissioned to reopen Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall April 2018 in collaboration with Mica Levi and Vivienne Westwood and is being remounted for a 2019 tour.
water bb is Deptford X commission.