Josie Rae Turnbull: Saline Shock!
29 September – 26 November 2023
10am - 5pm, Tuesday - Sunday
Stables Gallery at Orleans House Gallery
The biomedical industry runs on horseshoe crab blood. Rows of horseshoe crabs have their powder-blue blood drained into glass milk bottles. The Limulus Lysate Test, using this blood, checks for endotoxins. All vaccines, intravenous drugs, medical devices, and surgical implants are tested before distribution.
Stable for over 440 million years, the horseshoe crab population is now in decline.
As part of our Emerging Artists Programme, Josie Rae Turnbull presents Saline Shock! – a factual fable and science fiction crescendo to this real-world practice.
Many mid-20th Century ‘Creature Feature’ films such as Attack of the Crab Monsters, and Them! allegorised Cold War paranoia and shared apocalyptic anxieties. Saline Shock! imagines a near future, where predictions of further zoonotic epidemics reach absurdist conclusions.
Josie presents the ‘absolute fake’ to better reveal ‘latent truths’. Animate, inanimate, artificial, and hyperreal collide to interrogate our excessive systems of extraction.
We live under continual threat of two equally fearful, but seemingly opposed, destinies: unremitting banality and inconceivable terror. The job of science fiction is at once to lift us out of the unbearably humdrum…and to normalize what is psychologically unbearable, thereby inuring us to it.
– Susan Sontag, The Imagination of Disaster, 1965
More about Josie
Josie Rae Turnbull is an interdisciplinary Artist and Art Facilitator. Her work spans across textiles, sculpture, printmaking and lens-based media. She completed her MA in Fine Art and Science at Central Saint Martins in 2022, following living in Ho Chi Minh City. Josie’s practice dissects the chaotic systems that affect various ecosystems.
Josie was born, grew up, and currently resides in the London Borough of Hackney.