SWITCH explores tropes associated with sexual behaviour.
Devoy and Handcock offer an alternative kind of sexuality, reimagining the erotic for more than just the body. Light switches, house plants, coffee filters, recorders, and stools are constructed, cast and copied to suggest an eroticism separate from sex. What does sexuality look like outside of its more conventional settings? How does it operate rooted in a domestic environment, in your kitchen, or amongst friends?
Devoy's sculptural works transform everyday objects into proxy body-parts, poking fun at stereotypical representations of sexuality and masculinity. This impulse to sexualise inanimate objects draws parallels between these objects and the experience of being objectified. The form and materiality of these objects invite action—to squeeze, flick, play, or slap—as much as they invite a humorous association with the perverse.
Handcock's series of monoprints depict flaccid penises pissing into hipster-coffee brewing methods, on-trend house plants, and hanging baskets hung from weight-bearing erections. Previous works of Handcock's have dealt with representations of queer sexual undergrounds, both historic and contemporary. This new series of works on paper speculates on how fetishism functions—is a piss kink still kinky if it's piss in a potplant?
With the title SWITCH referencing both Devoy's nipple-esque lightswitch sculptures as well as a preference of sexual position, both artists here take great pleasure in finding the humour in sexual bodies as well as the sex act itself.
Robbie Handcock was born in Olongapo, Philippines, in 1989 and currently resides in Tāmaki Makaurau. Robbie holds an MFA from Massey University and was a facilitator with artist-run gallery play_station in Te Whanganui-a-Tara from 2019 to 2020. Select exhibitions include Courtship, play_station presentation at Auckland Art Fair 2019; OnlyFans, RM Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau, 2019; Love you to the wrist and back, play_station, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 2018; and Indecent Literature, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 2017.
Caitlin Devoy was born in London, England, in 1976 and currently resides in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Caitlin holds an MFA from Massey University, and a BA in Art History and Anthropology from Victoria University. Select exhibitions include Iteration 10 (Portraits), Mothermother presentation at Auckland Art Fair 2021, Iteration 7, Mothermother with Hye Rim Lee, Jessica Douglas, and et al. 2020, Display at Jhana Millers Gallery, Te Whanganui-a-Tara 2019, and Latent Image at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 2016.
Press release courtesy Jhana Millers.