ART NOW: ECHOES
Curated by Elsa Coustou
Humeau’s practice often takes the form of research-based projects to challenge key issues of the day using complex narratives that synthesise the past with the present. Humeau here blurs the boundaries between research and fiction, science and myth. She creates a uniquely sensory experience using bodily substances, polystyrene sculptures and the recreation of Cleopatra’s voice.
Humeau’s installation is conceived as a confrontation between life and death, with the gallery transformed into part temple, part laboratory for the industrial production of an elixir for eternal life. At the centre of the space, two semi-abstracted white polystyrene sculptures based on Ancient Egyptian gods, Wadjet (King Cobra) 2015 and Taweret 2015, merge the organic nature of the human body with biological engineering.
Long tubes cut through the space, pumping fluids around the installation, accompanied by the synthetic sound of Cleopatra’s ethereal voice. The hypnotic yellow environment, devised from poisonous black mamba python venom, evokes Cleopatra’s death and acts as a reminder of nature’s lethal powers.
Art Now is a series of free exhibitions at Tate Britain focusing on new and recent work by emerging artists.