Excess of Yang

Espai 13

Exhibition program
Cycle: Explicit silence
Sophie Whettnall
Curated by

Sophie Whettnall (Brussels, 1973) is presenting a sound video-installation with her latest self-portrait, designed specifically for Explicit Silence and titled Excess of Yang. According to oriental philosophy, yin and yang is a concept based on the duality in everything that exists in the universe. In Chinese medicine, the symptoms of a nature that is excessively yang - a quality generically associated with action, movement, light and the male - can include stress, lack of sleep and fast, reckless driving.

On the basis of a diagnosis of an excess of yang by her doctor, Whettnall creates a passionate metaphor of her experience as a woman by using symbols for power and seduction associated with the male gender. To do this, she explores the frontiers of silence, venturing into a project that represents one step further in her dissection of the intimacy of her psyche and in her particular analysis of the mechanisms and contradictions implicit in the practice of art.

In the same way as in other self-portraits such as Shadow Boxing (2004) and Conversation Piece (2005), the artist reflects on the latent violence in the unknown, in what is hidden, concealed, reserved and retained. In Excess of Yang, she depicts herself as apparently polarised between the energy and power conferred by the ostentation of sound, speed and beauty, and the containment imposed by her own limitations. It is here that she shows us a form of silence, embodied in a paralysing violence, that points to the lack of definition of its limits and the disarming breadth of its potential. And it is this tension in all her self-portraits that enables Whettnall to communicate so well the silence that prevails present in her art; a silence that is often hard and dense and is radically opposite to noise and lies.

Related links

Festival Loop


Sophie Whettnall

In collaboration with:

  • 987 Barcelona Hotel
  • ComRàdio
  • El Periódico
  • Festival Loop