Yarat Contemporary Art Centre is pleased to announce The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, a group show bringing together recent and new work by artists who explore identity through onscreen bodies and characters. The exhibition is co-curated by Suad Garayeva, Curatorial Director at YARAT and Michael Connor, Artistic Director of Rhizome at the New Museum in New York.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter takes its title from Carson McCullers’ 1940 novel about life in a small town in the southern US state of Georgia. The novel revolves around several characters who don't ‘fit in’ with their surroundings, bodily or socially, and who experience profound isolation and longing. The exhibition reimagines these emotional modes in the context of the contemporary internet, bringing together works by artists who invite identification with onscreen bodies and characters as a way of challenging and transcending normative ways of living.

The work brings together international artists Kari Altmann, Neil Beloufa, Hannah Black, Camille Henrot, Parker Ito, Bunny Rogers, Jasper Spicero, and Lu Yang. Working across painting, installation, video and other media, each artist examines themes of ownership, visual identity and the relationship between a society and their images in a networked age.

A central point of reference for the exhibition is Pierre Huyghe and Phillipe Parreno’s seminal work No Ghost Just a Shell (1999-2002), a project which explored the artistic reuse of an onscreen character. In 1999 Huyghe and Parreno purchased the copyright to a basic manga character named Annlee, and over several years invited artists to use the character to create works in a range of media. While that project suggested (somewhat tragically) that the character was an empty shell for an artist's ideas and interpretations, this exhibition takes more seriously the image's ability to influence bodies and identities, making the relationship between human and onscreen character more of a two-way exchange. Included in the exhibition will be two animated video works by Huyghe from No Ghost Just a Shell.

Suad Garayeva, Curatorial Director at Yarat says: At YARAT Contemporary Art Centre we are committed to showing important and cutting edge contemporary art. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter aims to explore a particular strand of art in the post-digital realm, and introduce these rapidly evolving artistic practices to our audiences.