Tale of the Frozen Bits at Castlefield Gallery

Tale of the Frozen Bits
Castlefield Gallery
12th February 2023 – 12th March 2023

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El Morgan, Tale of the frozen bits, video still, 2022.

Incorporating sculpture, sound, video, text and animation work, Tale of the Frozen Bits is an exhibition at Castlefield Gallery which explores the rich and surprising history of fertility drugs, a witches brew of ingredients that laid the path for our modern day medicines. Gallons of nun’s urine, multiplying hamster cells, horse glands and millions of frogs appear in a playful narrative that opens up our relationship with the bodies of women and the often ethically controversial branch of medicine. At a time when reproductive rights are being curtailed across the globe and innovations in medical science are occuring at a rapid pace, this bold exhibition attempts to make the clinical tangible, unpacking progressive science and complex legal and ethical responsibilities.

Tale of Frozen Bits still from El Morgan, Tale of the frozen bits, video still, 2022

El Morgan, Tale of the frozen bits, video still, 2022

Taking inspiration from her own experiences, having recently received a bill of £350 from a fertility clinic to continue to store some of her embryos, Morgan attempts to explore her frozen bits in their suspended state, to begin to unpick the medical and social structures that have enabled their pausing. Against a backdrop of domesticity Morgan replicates, experiments and questions the materials and systems she unearths – from recording the sound of her own urine to conversations with researchers on the sex lives of frogs and discussions with embryologists working in Greater Manchester (home of the first ever IVF baby). Read together, her collection of new works present an unseen history of fertility.

Tale of the Frozen Bits was selected from proposals submitted by Castlefield Gallery Associates by guest selector artist Harold Offeh, Castlefield Gallery Curator and Deputy Director Matthew Pendergast and Castlefield Gallery Associates Coordinator Laura Mansfield.

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