“Blood In My Milk” is the title of a new film and sound installation by Marianna Simnett (b. 1986, Kingston-upon-Thames, United Kingdom) and the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in the US.
“Marianna Simnett: Blood In My Milk,” 2018. Exhibition view: New Museum, New York. Photo: Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio
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In her film-, light-, and sound-based work, Simnett makes use of narrative structures and fantastical modes of storytelling, like fables, to guide a cast of characters through events that expose the subtle mechanics of violence and control that surround us.
Composed of new multi-channel edits of four of Simnett’s most important works to date—The Udder (2014), Blood (2015), Blue Roses (2015), and Worst Gift (2017)— “Blood In My Milk” is a survey of her filmic universe and a continuation of her ongoing investigation of anxieties around the body and the self. Experienced as a single storyline unfolding across five screens and featuring never-before-shown material, this new work chronicles Simnett’s exploration of organs, body parts, and infection through the lens of medical treatment and procedures. A tour de force of the past five years of Simnett’s work, “Blood In My Milk” constitutes the artist’s first encompassing visual epic, bringing her many characters in dialogue with one another across time and space—medical experts and scientists perform routine injections and operations alongside children’s games of hide-and-seek, farmers carry out disinfection rituals and cockroaches turn into biobots— to construct paranoid tales of sickness and transformation, often with Simnett herself as the protagonist. Accompanied by a new soundtrack, “Blood In My Milk” conveys a sense of discomfort with sterile environments and the invisible alien substances in our bodies that medical and industrial procedures aim to conceal.
“Marianna Simnett: Blood In My Milk” is curated by Helga Christoffersen, Associate Curator.
Marianna Simnett (b. 1986, Kingston-upon-Thames, UK) lives and works in London. Solo exhibitions and commissions include the forthcoming Museum für Modern Kunst, Frankfurt (2018) and E-Werk, Freiburg, Germany (2019), as well as Art on the Underground, London (2017); Matt’s Gallery, London (2017); Seventeen Gallery, New York and London (2016); Serpentine Pavilion, London (2015); and Comar, Isle of Mull, Scotland (2015). Her work is also included in recent and forthcoming group exhibitions and screenings, among them the Athens Biennial (2018); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2018); Sadie Coles, London (2018); the touring exhibition “Transitional States,” Lincoln, UK, London, Barcelona, and Bologna (2018); Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway (2017); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2017); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2016); FACT and Bluecoat, Liverpool (2016); and Chronus Art Center, Shanghai (2015). Simnett is a winner of the Jerwood/FVU Award (2014), the Adrian Carruthers Studio Award (2013), and the William Coldstream Memorial Prize (2013). She was shortlisted for the Jarman Award and a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award in 2017.