Every Ocean Hughes – One Big Bag

Studio Voltaire will present the first UK solo commission by Every Ocean Hughes (FKA Emily Roysdon).

One Big Bag
is a 40–minute film which asks vital poetic, practical and political questions that contribute to a necessary and growing debate around end of life practices. Hughes’ considers the subject from an explicitly queer perspective, exploring new references, vocabularies and aesthetics with which to reorient our approach to surviving and dying. 

Drawing on the artist’s extensive research, the film’s narrative centers on a ‘millennial death doula’ and her ‘mobile corpse kit’. She performs her knowledge within a field of props, that are the tools of her trade – everyday items that she manipulates to profound use: caring for the newly dead. With a matter of fact demeanour and intense physicality she guides the audience into the largely uncharted waters of corpse care — practical, political and spiritual. Threaded with humour, grief, unknowing and a desire for justice, her work encourages us to turn towards that which we strive so hard to avoid. The form of the video creates a tension between the subject matter of dying and the forceful liveness of the performance itself. 

One Big Bag is co–commissioned by Studio Voltaire, London and Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

With additional support provided by Whitney Museum of American Art. 

Studio Voltaire’s opening programmes have received support from Cockayne Grants for the Arts (The London Community Foundation).

About Every Ocean Hughes

Every Ocean Hughes (FKA Emily Roysdon) (b. 1977), is an interdisciplinary artist  based in Stockholm, Sweden.  The artist’s recent projects take the form of performance, photographic installations, printmaking, text, video, and curating. Her many collaborations include music with The Knife, Colin Self, and JD Samson & MEN; costume design for choreographers Levi Gonzalez, Vanessa Anspaugh, Faye Driscoll, and the band Le Tigre. 

Hughes has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2017); Secession, Vienna (2015); PARTICIPANT INC, New York (2015); Art in General, New York (2011); and the Berkeley Art Museum (2010). The artist has received commissions for new work from Tate Modern, London (2012, 2017), the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2013–14); Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (2013–14); and the Kitchen, New York (2010). A major exhibition of Hughes’ work is forthcoming at Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 2022 and a new commission with the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2023.

Image credit

Every Ocean Hughes, One Big Bag, 2021. Single-channel video projection. Colour, sound. 38 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.