Clarington Trip, 2023.
Partners in Art is a proud sponsor of Spoiled Milk, a solo exhibition featuring new work from the video, digital, and performance artist Rah Eleh at The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington.
The exhibition reflects upon historical identity markers, interrogates hierarchical relationships, and proposes new futures beyond our present landscapes of thought. It allows pleasure, laughter, and pain to coexist as we confront uncomfortable truths and significant asymmetries of power within our world. Visitors are invited to question whether identity politics are divisive and if they can spoil our social interactions.
Milk—or our existence in proximity with milk—presupposes a lexicon of aphoristic language that applies to many situations: to skim, to condense, to homogenize, to lactate, to express, to curdle, to culture, to separate. Across digital platforms, however, milk has rapidly soured into a symbol of white supremacy as proponents of Aryanism misrepresent research into the genetic correlation between lactose tolerance and race.
In her expanded practice, Eleh’s experimental work blends philosophical ideas, parody, and allegory to highlight the boundary between gender, national, and ethnic identity. With humor and great conceptual vigor, she employs an array of materials, new media, visual cues, and storytelling techniques to prompt reflection on our virtual spaces and asymmetries of power.
Spoiled Milk brings together a collection of installations by the artist. Its assemblies expand upon ethnic futurist discourse to navigate broad themes of migration, alienation, violence, and radicalism in the digital space. Found footage uncovers common microaggressions captured on newsreels and social media feeds. Instances of racially motivated attacks are quantified and visually interpreted into dynamic sculptural forms. Celestial Throne, which made its world debut in Venice at the Palazzo Mora during the Venice Biennale, sees characters confront power imbalances in a parody of the classic TV game show Jeopardy!. In the Loft Gallery, Eleh’s multimedia project DissemiNation involves the use of data visualization, light installation and video to shed light on state violence and propaganda and reveals larger complexities about liminality, nation-building, and belonging.