/ 02.07.2022 / 17:00 - LATE / TREEHOUSE NDSM / AMSTERDAM /




The programme ‘Fuck Healing (?) Living the Wounded Life’ presents an evening of performances and visual art that work with practices of reintegration and reclamation of wounds experienced materially, historically, narratively and psychically. Wounds — often the result of systems of violent exclusion and oppression — cannot be healed and eliminated; instead, the programme aims to establish the possibility of empowerment through alternatives to healing.

‘Fuck Healing’ uses the strategy of counter-actualisation as a way of reclaiming one’s wounds. The term, developed by philosopher Gilles Deleuze, refers to a subject’s capacity of transcending the given and being reimagined differently: to be broken down, wounded, fragmented only to be reinvented anew. Crucially, reinvention here is not the creation of a wholly new object or subject but rather a radical reformulation brought about through an altered relationship with the wound itself. The artworks presented in the exhibition address in various ways processes of fragmentation and reassemblage as a healing practice of reinvention – from reassembling fragments of memories to reusing broken objects, these works mobilise “imperfection” as an opening to a new mode of being. This is what it means to become “worthy of what happens to us”.*

“[...] to become worthy of what happens to us, and thus to will and release the event, to become the offspring of one’s own events, and thereby to be reborn, to have one more birth, and to break with one’s carnal birth — to become the offspring of one’s events and not of one’s actions, for the action is itself produced by the offspring of the event”.**

Here, loss, trauma, imperfection and breakage become regenerative forces. “Fuck Healing” does not offer a romanticized view on the wounded life; rather, the artworks and performances become the reparative practice of living with one’s wound. By bringing together workshops, performances and visual art practices, ‘Fuck Healing’ critically interrogates ideas of “healing” as proximate to normative perceptions of health. The programme questions the merits of our wounds, the divergent momentum they present, and recognises the future modes of “becomings” that “breaking” may allow us. Ultimately, by focusing on the reintegration and reclamation of wounds, breaks and ruptures, the programme understands the artworks themselves as alternative practices of care — care towards both the self as well as towards the objects which surround us. In light of recent socio-political events, including the layered trauma of the COVID pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this programme intends to think with the contingencies generated by ruptural events as a method to reimagine potential futures. The philosophical framework, inspired by Gilles Deleuze, highlights that the systems of power and dominance we are embedded in wound us all, yet we have the power to “counter-actualise” these wounds, through their reclamation as sources of mutual-identification with wounded others, and as a source of generative becomings which intervene into and alter hegemonic systems of power at a molecular level. By engaging with the “wounded” alterity, guests are invited to open themselves to what Deleuze would call “becoming-minoritarian”, which is not to become or imitate an excluded other, but to be contaminated by it. On Deleuze’s notion of a transcendental empiricist ethics, philosopher Ian Buchanan writes: “the free do not try to profit from their wounds, they want only to own them”. By particularising the universal, the transcendental empricist subject exercises what Buchanan calls “an active form of governmentality”; reappropriating normative and hegemonic processes and institutions and counter- actualising them via creative modes of expression. 

In this light, "Fuck Healing (?): Living the Wounded Life", can be viewed as a forum for experimenting with alternative styles of healing practice in order to deliberately gain agency through the owning of one’s own wounds. Focusing on two aspects – taking care of oneself and of the material and social environment – the artworks and performances use such means as storytelling, montage, and spoken word as alternative healing practices for both broken selves and the broken object-world. While performances such as Through - The Light of a Wounded Camera, and Three Songs for our Memory (The Positive of the Negative) are searching for alternative ways of using of the old, broken or misused objects, A Pointless Typewriter and Have I Become Her Stories mobilise storytelling as a way of producing reparative narratives to reconcile with one’s wounds. In Eric Peter’s Murmur, the broken object is language, which when deconstructed enables new meanings to emerge. Francesca Hawker and Dina Mohamed’s The Life of the Fragment, turn to the strategy of reconceptualizing the broken by recycling fragmented memories or previous artworks made by the artists. Turning towards the notion of a wounded self, Vita Buivid’s HOW (OLD) ARE YOU explores themes of disability, ageing, and mobility, Marie Tučková’s The Polyphonic Womb examines listening as a moment of political transformation, while Clara Saito’s Sh*d*ws looks inwards to reflect on questions of repressed identity, memory, and emotions. Finally, Bethany Crawford and Francesca Hawker’s Mother Liquor Bar adds a touch of magic and alchemy to discussions around non-normative practices of healing.

* Deleuze, Gilles. The Logic of Sense. Translated by Constantin V. Boundas, Mark Lester, and Charles J. Stivale. 1969. Reprint, London: Bloomsbury, 2015. 154.

Written by Alex Muller and Ksenia Bespalova