There is a multitude of readings we can put on any natural phenomenon. Yet nature and the natural have become embedded in a narrative of what is normal, naturalising certain bodies or behaviours, while deeming others ‘unnatural’.
Many of the stories we have collectively agreed upon are actually counter to any natural process or truth. So, what is this thing called nature? Who has claimed this term and who does it serve? These are the questions Bedford would like to pose.
Once we recognize that our narrative of the natural is not working, can we stop this story from repeating itself? Utopian Redux proposes a space where a new sense of nature can be experienced, and different bodies can share in joy, healing and rest.
About the artist
Carly Rose Bedford (Australia/Netherlands) has developed a multidisciplinary practice that consists of performance, sculpture, research and curating. Key is a methodology that centralises bodily experience while colliding it with materials and our habituated relationship to their uses and contexts. Here there can be a softness to concrete. This enables Bedford to enact queer thematics, and to explore the frames that influence our perception of different bodies without having to represent the body literally.
Bedford studied at the Victorian Collage of the Arts in Melbourne and the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam (2015-17). Bedford recently performed at the ‘Do Disturb’ festival, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017); initiated the polyvocal podium ‘Queer Is Not a Manifesto’ together with Aynouk Tan, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2019); published ‘She Put a Metal Rod in and Twists It’ together with Gabriel Maher, MAD/The Sandberg Series, Sternberg Press (2019); and was awarded a residency at Deltaworkers, New Orleans, through Mondriaan Fonds.
About the MK Award
The MK Award was founded by artists in 2012 to honour the creative legacy of gallerists Emmo Grofsmid (1951-2011) and Karmin Kartowikromo (1948-2011) of the former MK Gallery in Rotterdam and Berlin. Like them, the MK Award aims to recognise artists for their artistic position as well as their role for the wider community and society around them. The award consists of € 5.000 and involves an exhibition.
Previous winners of the MK Award were Melanie Bonajo (2013), Gil & Moti (2015) and Peter Fengler (2017). For this last edition of the Award, they were invited to nominate fellow-artists they consider inspiring and relevant today. The other nominees were Quincy Gario and ieke Trinks. Carly Rose Bedford, nominated by Melany Bonajo, was chosen by a jury consisting of artist Karin Arink, Kunsthal curator Charlotte Martens and collector Jeroen Princen, chaired by curator/advisor Alex de Vries, who praised Bedford for her multifaceted and inclusive practice.