Sweat presents a work of collaboration between Rachelle Sawatsky and Noura Wedell. It includes some works on paper by Rachelle and a video made by both and edited with Kate Mosher Hall.
The early impetus for this project was a series of writing workshops led a few years ago by writer Laurie Weeks, who'd assemble at her house a group of people interested in writing and practicing writing. When Laurie moved back to New York, Amanda Joy, Dylan Mira and Rachelle continued the workshops in Los Angeles. Different people would propose writing exercises, or show their work to the group. Noura had been doing authentic movement exercises in a performance class she was teaching with Adam Linder, and she shared the technique that they'd developed together for that class with the group.
We decided to pursue this process the two of us. It was interesting because it embodied a feminist methodology of staying close to the body and allowed us to experiment with what it might mean to write with the body in an open ended way. When we met privately, we realized that we also shared an interest in what we were calling "inner vision" a loose echo of George Bataille's "interior experience," which spoke to what people could call mysticism, but felt to us to be a perception developed beyond its rather poor socially communicable version. This is what we decided to explore.
For one year we met weekly to practice authentic movement together and write with the intention of exploring the process through which embodiment and gesture encounter language. We observed and described each other’s movements. To our surprise, writing and editing collaboratively within the fixed constraints of process started to build a shared experience of interiority and perception.
Rachelle was also using process and exploring sensorial experiences in her painting. In that way, they enter into dialogue with the questions posed in the writing.
- Rachelle Sawatsky & Noura Wedell, 2017
Rachelle Sawatsky is an artist and a writer who lives and works in Los Angeles and Vancouver. Her work encompasses painting, ceramics and drawing and often draws from literature and her own writing. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including China Art Objects, Night Gallery, Public Fiction, the Finley Gallery, Harmony Murphy Gallery and Artist Curated Projects in Los Angeles; at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Presentation House Gallery and Artspeak Gallery in Vancouver; at Cooper Cole in Toronto; Or Berlin in Berlin; at Galerie Mezzanin and Vesch in Vienna and at the Tate in St. Ives. Her work has been written about in Artforum, Frieze, C Magazine and Art Review.
Noura Wedell is a writer, scholar, translator, an editor for Semiotext(e). Her research centers on contemporary writing and visual art with a focus on questions surrounding language, materiality and politics. She had edited a book on writing in the work of Robert Morris (Investigations: the Expanded Field of Writing in the Works of Robert Morris), and has translated many books, among which are theoretical texts by Toni Negri and Guy Hocquenghem, and two autobiographical narratives by Pierre Guyotat. Her book of poetry, Odd Directions, replays 1970s conceptualist investigations of space and meaning. She is a lecturer in Critical Studies at the Roski School of Art and Design at USC, Los Angeles.