Submission
Emily Hunt

The Machine Elves' Shoes

Biography - Emily Hunt was born in Sydney, Australia. She has been living and working in Berlin since 2017. Hunt was selected as a participant in the Goldrausch Künstlerinnen Projekt 2020. Recent exhibitions in 2020 include disturbance:witch, Zitadelle Spandau Museum, Sirene at Kunstraum Kreuzberg and solo exhibition Sand Play at KNULP Gallery, Sydney. She opened her first solo exhibition Job Center. Aufgeladene Orte. Psychic Places at Galerie Wedding in 2021.


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Sandplay
According to “high strangeness” scholar Erik Davis, it was Freud who linked the uncanny “double character” (dolls and wax figurines, for example) to animist psychology, in which all things, animated or otherwise, have spiritual life. However, as Davis emphasises, this perspective is also a feature of mystical consciousness, and is perhaps only deflated and rejected by a “modern subjectivity” in which the “liveliness of the world fails to register.” Through his analysis, Davis notes that these double characters (the doll-like ballerina in The Red Shoes, McKenna’s DMT elves, Hunt’s figurines) can be located within “an eerie animation.” It is within this framework that Hunt’s constructed, fantastical world is well-placed. All her dualisms are at home here: the micro and macro; the human and nonhuman; fiction and science fiction; real-life and animation; love and LUV. This world, but also the artist’s creative process, can be understood via Jung’s Sandplay therapy: here, two trays are filled with sand – one dry, one damp – and the patient can place a variety of miniatures in the sandboxes to create a three-dimensional scene or image. The idea is that by allowing the imagination to freely associate, the patient can process real and often traumatic experiences through a playful method that bypasses the analytical brain in order to access the unconscious. In turn, the sandbox becomes a safe space for the psyche to express itself. But what happens in the sandpit, what energy builds there, when your cute-looking miniatures come from complex places? What happens when play is both joyous and addictive, like dancing when you don’t quite know how to stop? Hunt’s exhibition The Machine Elves’ Shoes builds a world in which childlike bliss and dark forces revel together. Where doors keep opening to new experiences of psychedelic consciousness. Where the trash stratum sparkles and elves dance on at an endless rave party.