Jennet Thomas, Animal Condensed>Animal Expanded (still), 2018. HD video. © Jennet Thomas. Courtesy Tintype.
Animal Condensed>>Animal Expanded#2
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“Our food, just like our politics, is synthetic. A supermarket chicken looks like an animal but doesn’t taste like one. Animal expanded. Everything in Jennet Thomas’s work is abstracted, condensed and expanded. Dissonance abounds, Bridget Riley crossed with Doctor Who, the high and the low, the optical and anecdotal—biological and technological. I’m reminded of the recent advert on the underground about how they can ‘delete’ blood cancer—your body as hardware, drugs as software—your body enhanced, expanded and abstracted.” George Vasey
The category “human” is falling apart…
Animal Condensed>>Animal Expanded#2, Jennet Thomas’s first solo show at Tintype, presents the second of a trilogy of short films offering a comic-sardonic look at the nefarious reality of intensive farming and AI. A charged skirmish between conformity and dissent quickly escalates into exceedingly strange domestic science-fiction.
A man and woman speak urgently to camera about their relationship with an intelligent substance they call “Animal Expanded.” The man has swallowed Animal Condensed; as it expands it flows throughout his home, improving his family. He holds his five-year-old daughter up to camera: “Look how her fibres are formatting! She is her very own accelerated portfolio.”
Left alone, the daughter plays games on her laptop, troubled by a corrupted Peppa Pig, and the magical appearance in her bedroom of a man in an alarming folk costume.
Her father plays with his Newton’s Cradle executive toy, that has the power to miraculously multiply piglets.
An older woman, hiding out in the woods, will not swallow Animal Condensed—it’s not alive in the right way. For this disobedience she is tracked by Deep Face and punished with Confusion Events. But in her studio she is building new weapons, moving sculptures with skewed faces and stark black and white stripes that will re-align the narrative centre.
Jennet Thomas presents her films in extraordinary, visually co-ordinated environments in which objects and performance are threaded through the exhibition. Using Tintype’s window as an extra dimension, sculptural objects that are both props and art works, reach out of and beyond the film’s narrative.
The exhibition also includes the screening of Animal Condensed>Animal Expanded#1.
Jennet Thomas‘s work has been shown internationally, including two solo shows at Matt’s Gallery, London; at the IFF Rotterdam, European Media Arts Festival, New York Underground Film Festival, and museums including Tate Britain and MOMA New York. Since 2007, her work has been shown as large-scale sculptural installations that physically surround the film, sometimes with continuous live performance inside these installations.
Recent solo exhibitions include Animal Condensed>>Animal Expanded#2, Peninsula Arts, Plymouth 2018; Unspeakable Freedom, Tastes Like Chicken, Block 336, London, 2016; The Unspeakable Freedom Device, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Utah 2016; The Unspeakable Freedom Device, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, 2015 which then toured to Matt’s Gallery, London, Grand Union, Birmingham, Primary, Nottingham, Outpost Norwich, Cube, Bristol. School Of Change, Matt’s Gallery, London 2012; School Of Change – the recruitment – live multi media performance with dance troupe including composer Leo Chadburn at Camden Arts Centre, London 2011; All Suffering Soon To End, Matt’s Gallery, London (2010).
With thanks to Block 366 for their support of Animal Condensed>Animal Expanded#1.
We would also like to thank Arts Council England for their support of this project.