photo credits: Laure Cottin Stefanelli


 

 









EXUBERANT DEFIANCE

2015

AUTOMOTIVE PAINT AND RADIATOR LACQUER ON STEEL PLATES, GLASS BLOCKS, PU FOAM, SPRAY PAINT, PLANTS, MASK

"In her work Hilary Lloyd also focuses on the sheer exuberance of the gesture, yet she reaches this point less through abstraction and more through the specific observation of a vernacular body language. Car Wash (2005), for example, consists of four slide projections, each comprised of 80 slides. As the slides change with the pace of a very slow movie, they intensify your experience of place by unhinging your sense of time. The pictures show a group of young Arab men working at a car wash in Sheffield. Lloyd’s camera picks out numerous details of their body language. You see how the biceps of a man in a vest ripple as he lifts a hose to rinse a car, or how a gold necklace glitters between the zip of a tracksuit, opened just wide enough to reveal it. You sense that the men know how to let these things show. It’s a defiant form of exuberance, as none of the defining features of their performance is determined by the requirements of the work they do. And it is precisely through this moment of exuberance that the men erase the stigma of a low-paid job, transforming it instead into a platform for a performance in which the cars become mere props for a demonstration of pride. Here Lloyd pays tribute to the body politics of pure attitude. The men at the car wash have exactly what the fashion industry capitalizes on: they have it, i.e., attitude. But they didn’t buy it and they don’t sell it; they just have it. Many a stylist, model or musician would give their right arm to have it, too, but it’s not for sale. As in theorema, the acts of exuberance interrupt a labour regime in which only purposeful production counts as agency, and instead opens up a space in which the I Can exists in the form of an untradable surplus."^1



1. Verwoert, Jan. Exhaustion Et Exhuberance: Ways to Defy the Pressure to Perform. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2006. Print. p. 101.