“Enclosing, encircling, engulfing”: sexual power dynamics in the ecofetishist artwork of Genevieve Belleveau at Garden, LA

, 7 January 2019

Circlusion, an exhibition by Genevieve Belleveau at Garden, Los Angeles, runs between October 27, 2018 and February 3, 2019.

Taking its title from a proposed alternative to the term penetration, Circlusion draws from the artist’s interests in BDSM and the relationship between humans and ecology. The resulting project reconsiders sexual power dynamics and the fraught human/nature divide.

For an opening night performance, a model is enclosed in a vacuum bed, a tool used in BDSM breath play. The exhibition draws aesthetic analogies between this act, with its implications of consent and pleasure, to the tradition of flower pressing. Conventionally a gesture of humans’ mastery of nature, flower pressing is re-contextualised in Belleveau’s examination of normative sexual power plays. As noted in the show’s press release:

“The exhibition’s central ontological shift — from passive reception to active engulfment — plants a seed that complicates and reevaluates perceived power dynamics.”**

Circlusion, Genevieve Belleveau, runs between October 27, 2018 and February 3, 2019 at Garden, Los Angeles.