Renate Bertlmann, Cullinan Richards, Ayla Dmyterko, Permindar Kaur, Rebecca Parkin, Tai Shani, Penny Slinger, Georgina Starr, Unyimeabasi Udoh

Bitch Magic


Curated by Celeste Baracchi
On until 2 March 2024

There’s more than one way to skin the witch’s cat. The evidence is ample in this show which brings together an impressive line-up of female esotericism and playful weirdness. Penny Slinger’s ‘70s photo collages bourgeon in angst, exposing a woman’s body to horrors rarely caught on film. Cullinan Richards’ industrial sacrificial altars meet their end with hysterical laughter.

Each “bitch” brings her brand of “magic”. But the more of them come close to the cauldron, the more spoiled the soup. Ayla Dmyterko’s paintings chase after a mystery, but her paint is mere cosplay and a trick of the mind. Premidar Kaur’s macabre curtain hanging hides no secret behind it. Georgina Starr’s sound piece finds a groove in patinated occult but does somehow poorly in this diverse coven.

The curator’s text finally reveals the cause of this dissonance. The gallery assembled these women not to narrate their ideas, images, or practices but to put them to work trading feminist thought for a “novel and more inclusive” dictates of queer theory. There will be no women when this spell breaks. And no need for magic, either.

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