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Anna Perach


Edel Assanti Gallery
March 24,2022 - April 30,2022

March 24, 2022 April 30, 2022

Performance: 7.30pm, Thursday 24 March 2022

Edel Assanti is delighted to present Spidora, Anna Perach’s first  UK solo show. 

Perach works with an intricate tufting technique to create  wearable sculptures and wall-based objects, informed by  Slavic folklore, mythologies, fairy tales and scientific theories.  Her sculptures function both as garments that are performed  in as well as autonomous works. Through a distinctive medium  that bears resemblance to carpet textiles, Perach considers the  domestic sphere and how it operates as an extension of the  individual, reflecting on personal heritage and gender roles.  Her performances reverse this dynamic and exhibit the private  domestic carpet as an external masquerade, simultaneously  exposing and concealing fragments of the self. 

Spidora is the exhibition’s protagonist: a woman-arthropod  hybrid in the form of a wearable sculpture, inspired by a Victorian  illusion invented by the American magician Henry Roltair. This  entertaining act, which toured America with travelling carnivals,  presented a curious beast that had a real woman’s head grafted  onto the body of a spider, jarring contrast of female beauty with  monstrosity. Perach’s sculpture and performance elaborates  this ‘hideous’ form. From a vivid tufted body, multiple body  parts including heads, hands, breasts and legs, protrude and  accentuate the character’s contradictions: she is both feminine  and grotesque, hidden and exposed, human and animal,  powerful but a victim of her condition. 

The gallery becomes Spidora’s web as Perach explores the  overarching archetype of women as virile forces capable of both  giving and taking life. Stages of Spidora’s reproductive cycle are  laid out. A wooden tufting frame hinged to the wall displays the  embryonic phase of future deconstructed beings.  

Flattened body parts are held here, composed of tightly knotted  tufts in lurid colours, that appear like an anatomical drawing  that simultaneously forms a protective shield for the matriarch.  Overhead an ominous metal sack hangs from the ceiling. Through  its chainmail bulge fleshy limbs and heads, indicating that this is  where Spidora’s reproductions gestate. 

Spidora’s implied laborious act of weaving and Perach’s own, is a  means of considering the connotations of craft and carpet textiles.  The medium is culturally charged, resonating with Perach’s early  childhood spent in Soviet Ukraine before migrating to Be’er Sheva,  Israel. Oriental tapestries were part of her visual culture and an  object that spoke of worldliness and commerce as well as conjuring  domesticity, intimacy and labour. Transforming the image of carpet  into a wearable sculpture, she retains aspects of this interiority.  When used to perform, the fabric insulates the performer from their  surroundings and constricts their movements to mechanical, jilted  actions. The tension of the performance and the claustrophobia of  the performer is a way of reflecting on histories of restrictive gender  roles. In bringing Spidora to life, the exhibition both demonstrates  and questions the enduring legacy of mythologies that conjure  monstrous women. Evidently compelling and with addictive appeal,  Perach asks, who do they really serve? 


Anna Perach (b.1985, USSR) completed her MFA in fine art  from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2020. She has recently  exhibited at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby, UK (2022);  Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel (2021);  White Cube, London, UK (2020); MOSTYN, Llandudno, Wales.  (2019); Mimosa House, London, UK (2019). In 2020 she received  awards from Sarabande, The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation  and the Royal Society of Sculptors. 

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