Amanda Wall, Red blanket, 2021, Oil on linen
In her third solo exhibition with Almine Rech, Amanda Wall presents Femcel, a zeitgiest of the post-modern woman. The exhibition navigates a path between "disassociation and transcendence, peeking into the gestalt of the sexless sex objects" as described by writer and anarchist Alexis Schwartz. "As we traverse the narrative space, we descend into rapid cycles of detachment and foreboding, enshrouded by the cherubic faces of young women scattered schizophrenically in bursts of joy and doom."
Amanda Wall, Butterflies, 2021, Oil on linen
Amanda Wall, Collapse, 2021, Oil on linen
Amanda Wall, Blow up heart, 2021, Oil on linen
Femcel is a term originally denoting a 'female incel' (incel itself being a portmanteau of involuntary celibate) but has been warped and reclaimed within many post-internet art circles, now usually denoting a young attractive woman leading an esoteric lifestyle and having 'schizo' opinions. Schwartz expands on this dichotomous role: "A paradox unfurls before us, as the desire to embody the archetypal "hot girl" remains elusive, even among those who appear to epitomize it. In a world overly saturated with sensuality, we have matured beyond the enchanting innocence of our youth, yet these physical forms retain their delicate suppleness, albeit uselessly. It is not the act of carnal indulgence that allures them or us but their persistent desire for validation and our guilty joy in partaking in their solipsism."
Femcel runs from 22 Nov to 22 Dec 2023 at Almine Rech, Grosvenor Hill.
Emma Lee is an arts news writer for FETCH London. She has written for Vogue, The Art Newspaper and The Financial Times and specialises in art news and art market analysis.