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My work combines sculpture, photography, performance and collective curation to explore how animism can blur modernity’s ontological boundaries. Playing with the boundary making/braking potential of this viewpoint, I aim to create an ambiguous relationship between humans and our internal and external environments.

The conditions of the anthropocene and the environmental crisis have lead me to analyse modernity's dualisms, between the interior and the exterior, the civilised and the savage and what is inert and what is animate. My suggestion is that these separations have lead to a colonial mindset, able to inflict violence against nature and other cultures. In our post-capitalist world, these separations have morphed into an extreme state of interiorization, where all issues have become private.The desire to find a response to this inspired me to explore how animism can create a more fluid perspective.

I have been playing with sculptural objects and their photographic representations to shift dichotomous readings between presence and absence. I manipulate the form of the body to challenge what is alive and what is dead. I use performance and photography to question if the membrane between the interior and the exterior is permeable, and how this affects my intimacy with the audience.   

Through my work I aim to create my own contemporary animist language. I’m interested in how this approach can be used as a strategy, away from hyper individualism towards a more collective encounter of life.

Florence Devereux

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