Catherine Biocca: Milky Seas

Catherine Biocca
Milky Seas
PSM Gallery, Berlin
September 14th - October 24th 2020

Exhibition Documentation

The older me would hate the younger me!
The younger me might like the older me.
I want to be younger but I’d never trade back places with my younger self!
Would you?
I would tell my younger self not to be so stupid!!
I would tell my younger self not to worry, you’ll survive sweetheart, things won’t be great but they’ll be..well.. okay at least

Within her body of work, Catherine Biocca frequently shapes large-scale scenes that insinuate total autonomy from the viewer’s reality. It is almost, as if by visitation we are actually intruding upon private property or a theater stage, interrupting the very happenings taking place. Her characters, deemed recognizable as anthropomorphized assemblages, are consistently active and presently conscious within their surroundings.

Do you like yourself now?
I dunno!!!
Do you like anything or anyone at all?
Not really!

For the exhibition Milky Seas, Biocca has created an environment wherein the viewer is instantly pulled into an unpredictable narrative. The exhibition explores and challenges the inside/outside barriers of perception between subject and object. Once in-situ, the viewer no longer possesses a passive watchful gaze, but instead becomes integrated into the story as a kind of collective consciousness slips and weaves itself through the membranes of the gallery space.

Upon entering the space, we first happen upon a lively conversation we aren’t entirely sure we are meant to hear. Two candidly aging ladies, their figures of which are made up of a variety of materials soft and solid, cackle and screech freely at one another for a time. Their exaggeratedly long limbs and wry facial expressions allude to a playful kind of jeering, joke-telling, or rousing of whomever comes within earshot. Not unlike an excited crowd yelling the slogans of their favorite sports team or politician, the two mimic aggressive battle cries and shouts, usually meant to intimidate one’s opponent or enemy. Surrounding them, more mischievous figures dance and leap freely throughout the space.

This active and frenzied scene is soon disrupted by an impending sound; the approaching footsteps of an authority perhaps ready to tread boldly into the setting, sullying the floor with their hefty boots and punishing our rowdy protagonists.

Not far away, a humanoid house-like sculpture snores heartily, filling the space with gentle sounds of sleep. As we step into the space, it becomes apparent the sleepy figure is also slowly flooding its surroundings with saliva, ready to lap at our shoes and perhaps wash us away at any moment. The liquid permeates through the space, anchoring us together the present, to an entirely collective experience.

When I woke up I realized I’d been drooling on your arm
you didn’t mind, or even wipe it away
It just got absorbed into you after a while