REVEIW: Marguerite Hameau Exhibition @ Nottingham Contemporary.


First year Journalism student and Lifestyle blogger ELLA BOWERS went to check out the current Nottingham Contemporary Exhibition.

London-based French artist Marguerite Humeau’s sensual sculpture art will take you on a biological quest through time and space. Her exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary, FOXP2, is her first major solo show in the UK and is a unique collaboration between Nottingham Contemporary and Palais de Tokyo, where it was conceived. Humeau has describes herself as an “Indiana Jones in Google times” showing her combination of historic concepts in futuristic style.

Did you know that 98% of human and chimpanzee DNA is the same? According to the scientist Jared Diamond, in his book The Third Chimpanzee, the crucial 2% difference lies in the mutation of a gene called FOXP2, the inspiration behind this exhibition. The mutation was responsible for the evolution of the vocal tract, a dramatic change separating the two species. Noam Chomsky called this a “single-chance mutation”, an evolutionary accident that allowed our ancestors to form early stages of language.

The “biological showroom” at Nottingham Contemporary contains artificial creatures, resembling elephants, engaged in an elaborate mourning ritual. The echoing sounds of the creative pre-historic beings are emotionally tugging. My interpretation of these installations is the struggle of early life development before the human being, complimented by the pink colour-scheme suggesting fertility and a reproductive life-cycle. The pink carpets the pieces are displayed on are actually dyed with pigments created from chemical components of the human body.

Humeau told Nottingham Contemporary that she was in contact with a number of zoologists, biologists and pyschologists, to help her create an idea of what might have been the biologicial mutation of elephants if, instead of humans, they developed ability to use lanagugae. The death soundwaves of a matriarch elephant lie at the heart of the exhibition; this triggers the evolution of the others in the group, which have been programmed to display a variety of feelings and states. The sounds of the different creatures come together in a great assembly.

This exhibition is open until 15th January 2016, so if you are looking for something to do this semester, go check this out!1

By Ella Bowers

BA Hons Journalism

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