Throughout 2014 and 2015 Phaophanit and Oboussier worked closely with Professor Roger Kneebone (Wellcome Engagement Fellow and Professor of Surgical Education and Engagement Science at Imperial College London). The artists requested to film the surgeon as he re-enacted an operation he had carried out 30 years previously, drawing only upon a mixture of memory and imagination. The operation was captured in one single shot of 44 minutes and tracks an uncanny sequence of precise and tender gestures: the surgeon’s hands de-territorialised, the absent body, moments of certitude alongside moments of hesitation and lostness. The centrepiece of the triptych, it is flanked by two other films, intuitive but precise responses to this unspoken terrain that has been opened up: one, a fusion of two great rivers from different continents: the Mekong and the Thames, the other, a meandering dérive through the ruins and the modernity of an unnamed city.
IT IS AS IF was exhibited as part of Group Show Now! Now! In more than one place curated by Sonia Boyce
A combination of works, including painting, photography, drawing, print, video installation, sculpture and publications are brought together spanning the second half of the twentieth century to the present. Spatial and temporal relationships unfold with themes that address a sense of place, or invite us to re-think representations of the body and identities beyond the binaries often cited in relation to race, sexuality and gender. The works also ask us to sustain our attention across several, sometimes fractured, somatic/perambulatory states. (Sonia Boyce)
Ajamu, Yeu-Lai Mo, Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom, Eugene Palmer, Mohini Chandra, Bharti Parmar, Neil Conroy/Lesley Sanderson, Hetain Patel, Yassmin V Foster, Vong Phaophanit/Claire Oboussier, Sheila Ghelani, Ingrid Pollard, Ope Lori, Denis Williams, Althea McNish, Verdi Yahooda