PREVIEW : EMILY HESSE: The Taste of this History: a Church in My Mouth


Workplace Foundation is delighted to present The Taste of this History: a Church in my Mouth a solo exhibition of new and existing works by Emily Hesse.


Do you remember the first morning you awoke to find the world was no longer tangible?

Do you remember when you felt the centre of things tilt slightly on its axis?

Do you remember, as a woman, what it was to watch what you knew fall away, becoming some sort of manipulated care package travelling to Mars, containing within it what you thought was care, tenderness, belonging: your church?

As you watched it forced into another dimension, did it mutate?

Did you think that you witnessed transformation, or did you question your own witnessing until you disbelieved even the actions your eyes had themselves absorbed into your very being?

Tell me, when it all fell away, were you alone?

Can you still taste the stale memory of the space it occupied?

Do you still believe in love?

Emily Hesse 2018


Emily Hesse’s interdisciplinary, often collaborative practice includes the use of performance, drawing, writing, sculpture, ceramics and installation to question and aggravate social and political power dynamics through psychogeography, philosophy, and regional folk histories, collective action and the use of land and its associated materials as a physical form of protest.


Deeply rooted in social structures and the landscape itself, Hesse’s work is born of the space she occupies and underpinned by free thinking approach influenced by the philosophies of 20th century thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Rachel Bespaloff, Albert Camus and Heinrich Blucher. Utilising aesthetics as a tool for subversion, Hesse takes her own land, and the overlooked, often ugly and unfamiliar, materials of historical significance around her and draws out their political and social mythologies, highlighting thought provoking content and transforming them into objects of collective familiarity.