Tatiana Istomina and Amanda Nedham
Curated by: Tatiana Istomina
The exhibition presents new works by artists Tatiana Istomina and Amanda Nedham touching on recent histories involving insoluble moral and psychological dilemmas. Istomina’s sculptures, paintings and text pieces are loosely based on the story of Helene Rytman, who was murdered by her husband, distinguished French philosopher Louis Althusser, in 1980. Today Althusser remains a respected thinker - his texts written before and after the murder are published and read. Helene, however, has become a mystery: an unexplained embarrassment in the life of a notable intellectual and a possible influence on his theory of social determinism. Nedham’s sculptures and paintings examine the story of Dian Fossey – a pioneer primatologist and founder of the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda. Aiming to launch a serious study of gorillas and protect them from illegal hunting, Fossey spent eighteen years working in the jungle. She created a new, gorilla-oriented system of ethics and sometimes committed acts that would be unthinkable within her previously traditional moral landscape. Fossey was brutally murdered with a machete in her cabin in the Virunga Mountains, Rwanda, in 1985; her assailant remains unknown. Through subtle, evocative artworks and gestures, the exhibition weaves together the two women’s stories, raising tantalizing questions about the extent of human freedom and the limits of morality.