- Part of...Liverpool Biennial 2016
Lucy Beech (b. 1985, Hull, UK) lives in London, UK. Beech’s video and performance works explore ideas around emotional capitalism, interrogating forms of emotional labour that place a premium on interpersonal interaction whilst blurring the boundaries between work and play. Often focused on female group dynamics, her practice uses choreography and disrupted narrative structure in order to explore public intimacy and competitive vulnerability.
Lucy Beech’s new film, Pharmakon, co-commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and FACT, is presented as part of the Software episode, which points towards an understanding of technology stretching beyond its strictly functional use. Instead, it highlights technology’s ability to allow us into imaginative worlds.
Beech’s video and performance works often consider how emotions are instrumentalised in a capitalist context, especially exploring female group dynamics and public intimacy. Usually focused on female group dynamics, her practice uses choreography and disrupted narrative structure to explore public intimacy and competitive vulnerability.
Involving women in all aspects of her new commission, Beech’s new film explores experiences of health anxiety, and the management of abnormalities. Pharmakon is an interpersonal drama that explores health anxiety and self diagnosis in an era of mass communication, and engages with marginal communities that seek support via online networks – here, connectivity is both poison and cure.
Beech’s film is supported by the Wellcome Trust, and is shot and produced in Liverpool, utilising local sites where diverse communities intersect, such as Sefton Palm House and Liverpool ONE. The screenplay has been developed through the artist's active engagement with therapy groups, advocacy websites, patient forums and interviews with clinicians working within the field of delusional infestation.
Download a digital copy of the publication to accompany Lucy Beech's Pharmakon.
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