You hardboiled I softboiled
Rosalind Nashashibi | Valerie Norris | Sam Riviere | Masha Tupitsyn | Claire Walsh | Jessica Yu
29 July – 27 August 2017
Fri–Sun, 12—5pm or by appointment
Preview Friday 28 July, 8—10pm
Rhubaba presents an ongoing polyvocal project centering around the work of Melbourne-based writer Jessica Yu. Initiated in 2015 in association with Hospitalfield and the Royal Over-Seas League, the project will bring together the voices of Jessica, poet Sam Riviere, editor Claire Walsh, artists Valerie Norris and Rosalind Nashashibi and writer and multimedia artist Masha Tupitsyn. During the Edinburgh Art Festival, You hardboiled I softboiled will consist of an in-gallery press, an exhibition, two purpose built street-facing display cases and a one-off broadcast.
Jessica is interested in reconstituting memory and place through her writing, specifically addressing ‘home’ as an indefinite, extensible sensation. In other strands of her writing, ‘love’ is interrogated, stretched and practiced as a creative and productive force. Incorporating diasporic identity and postcolonial concerns, she explores how these notions are distorted over geographical distance and periods of time. These ideas form the framework of You hardboiled I softboiled and were the starting point for a long-distance working practice in the form of an email exchange between Jessica and fellow writer Sam, initiated during their meeting in Edinburgh last year.
An in-gallery press, established by Claire and the Rhubaba Committee for the duration of the exhibition, will operate both on-and-offline as means of publishing extracts from the email thread and new writing by Jessica and Sam. The output of this press will take the form of emails, a series of printed pamphlets and two street-front display cases. As a playful exploration into staged intimacy in contemporary modes of online communication and related ideas of authenticity, visitors will be given the opportunity to be copied or ‘cc-ed’ in to Jessica and Sam’s email conversation as readers.
Presenting Rosalind Nashashibi’s 35mm colour film This Quality (2010) and paintings by Valerie Norris, the exhibition draws on instances of love and loving in poetry and visual art practices and looks for intersections between these forms.
Interrupting and expanding on Jessica and Sam’s conversation, and the works by Valerie, is Masha Tupitsyn’s 24-hour sound poem and montage, Love Sounds (2015), a video work presenting an aural history of love in cinema, which, she believes, remains the last medium for speaking and performing love culturally. This 24-hour work will be broadcast online via the Rhubaba website from 7pm on Saturday 26 August.
Jessica Zhan Mei Yu is a writer and a Creative Writing PhD student at the University of Melbourne. She was selected as one of Melbourne Writers Festival’s 30 under 30 in 2015. Her work has been published in The Best Australian Poems, Overland, Cordite, The Lifted Brow, Award Winning Australian Writing, The Saturday Paper and more. She is currently working on her PhD thesis as well as her first novel. She has spoken and performed at Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, Digital Writers Festival and on ABC Radio and Triple R. She has received a Glenfern Fellowship and a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship. She was awarded Best Fiction at the Express Media Awards in 2014, received second prize in the John Marsden Prize for Young Writers 2011 and was the Victorian recipient of the Taronga Poetry Prize in 2008.
Jessica Yu has been selected as a ROSL Visual Arts Scholar by Rhubaba. The Royal Over-Seas League and Hospitalfield partner each year to select new commissioning organisations, supporting them to research and select commonwealth artists to undertake a month long residency at Hospitalfield. Jessica took part in the 2016 Autumn Residency at Hospitalfield and will be returning to Scotland in August 2017.