In Marianna Simnett’s short film The Udder, shown at Open Source on a loop, the familiar teat of the cow becomes a mammary gland of memory – casting the viewer back into the uncertain time of female adolescence. Shot on location at a robot dairy farm in rural Sussex, Simnett’s tale has a magical-realist quality evocative of a Grimms Fairytale for today’s world, and involves captivating performances from the people who live and work there. Loaded with symbolism, the Udder is suggestive of a sexual rite of passage, and an awakening of the individual to the bodily discovery, fear, difference and desire.
The Udder (2014) was commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards: ‘What Will They See of Me?’, a collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and FVU, in association with CCA, Glasgow and University of East London, School of Arts and Digital Industries. FVU is supported by Arts Council England.
Marianna Simnett (born 1986 in Kingston-upon-Thames, United Kingdom) lives and works in London. She received her BA from Nottingham Trent University in 2007 and her MA from the Slade School of Art in 2013. Her work examines organic and biological systems as they intersect with technological and immaterial networks, through video, live performance, and installation. Her videos involve collaborative methods with non-actors playing versions of themselves in heightened, suspended realities.
Recently, she has had solo show at Seventeen Gallery, London (2016) and a solo performance at Park Nights, Serpentine Galleries (2015). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions and screenings, including those at Bluecoat, Liverpool (2016); CAC, Shanghai (2015); Connecting Spaces, Hong Kong (2015); Jerwood Space, London (2015), CCA, Glasgow (2015). She was a winner of the Jerwood / Film and Video Umbrella Award (2014 - 2015), the Adrian Carruthers Award 2013, and the William Coldstream Prize (2013). She has an upcoming solo show at Matt’s Gallery, London.
Curated by Richard Parry