An Exhibition by MANDEM
MANDEM is a working team of artists, one of whom lives with the genetic disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) that causes failure of connective tissue. The “Hypermobility” series recenters that disability as a form of beauty, taking a metamodernist approach to the classical realist tradition of figure painting. Using studio models diagnosed with connective tissue disorders such as EDS, the series captures moments where joints hyperextend or dislocate and the body moves into broken-seeming, impossible configurations. MANDEM’s technique-oriented mixed media/oil paintings explode the line between medical documentation and art, simultaneously educating the public and proclaiming the artistic and social validity of disabled bodies.
This project began during MANDEM’s artist residency at the Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino (Florence, Italy) and has since received multiple grants from the Ohio Arts Council, earned awards from organizations such as the Lippman Kanfer and Every Life Foundations, been selected for residencies at Negative Space Gallery and The Culture Palette, been presented at conferences such as the ICRE and AMS Invitational Symposium, and been published in literary journals and art magazines. “Hypermobility” has exhibited in Italy, England, Canada, and the United States.