Untitled Document

The Anatomy of Desire - Charlie Murphy

Date: 8 February - 5 March 2010


THE ANATOMY OF DESIREbrings together over ten years work and research into a variety of expressions of desire. Since 1999, Murphy has been asking participants to donate casts of kisses and other intimate spaces to her project and has collected them from all over the world through her trademark ‘kiss-in’ events and open invitations. Asking couples, friends, and strangers to hold their pose for 90 seconds, she subsequently transforms their casts into glass sculptures through elaborate mould making processes.

Detailed impressions, taken using a fine dental casting material, are transformed through a series of positive and negative mould making processes into a wide range of forms that examine the intricate dynamics of each moment through the magnifying qualities of the glass.

Murphy has collected over 100 kiss casts through a touring live art event- the 'kiss-in' and this amazing collection to present an extraordinary survey of the kiss – from the inside.

Capturing the revealing and tender encounters of participating couples, strangers and groups of friends as they hold their kiss for a minute and half – an exciting new video will also present a mesmerising insight into the act and dynamics of the kiss - from the outside.

Animating the video material through percussive, electronic and choral instrumentation, composer Jorge Queijo will create a rich musical score that will conceptualise the sound of kissing and present an live performance at the exhibition event. The exhibition is complemented by a publication with three incisive texts by Luce Irigaray, Alistair Gentry, and Leonore Tiefer.

The Anatomy of Desire is supported by Grants for Arts, Arts Council England award and ArtSway Artist Associates programme, funded by The Leverhulme Trust.

Gallery Event

Friday 12 February 2010, 6.30pm-9.00pm

Charlie Murphy will present a short artist talk about The Anatomy of Desire, followed by a live performance of the commissioned score by Jorge Queijo. A book launch and reception will be held in the Gallery from 8.00pm.


A coach will run from Bournemouth train station to the text+work, The Gallery at 6pm and will return to Bournemouth train station for 9pm. Booking for the coach is essential as spaces are limited. Please contact The Gallery Office to book a seat. gallery@aucb.ac.uk / 01202 363272 to book a ticket.

The last train to arrive in Bournemouth from London Waterloo for 6.00pm will leave at 3.25pm, arriving at 5.23pm. The returning train leaves Bournemouth at 9.12pm and will arrive in London Waterloo at 11.23pm. Information on trains correct on 14/01/10.


Charlie Murphy (MA RCA) is an artist currently based in London, UK, whose work includes photography, sculpture, video and participatory events. Her work has been presented in numerous galleries, museums, and art galleries, both in the UK and internationally, including the Venice Biennale 2005 and Tate Modern. She is based at ACAVA studios, London, and has been an ArtSway Artist Associate since 2003.www.charliemurphy.co.uk

Alistair Gentry is an artist and writer. He works predominantly in video, animation, performance and photography, and has also worked in installation, drawing, text and programming. He was awarded an Arts Council England / English Heritage Artist’s Fellowship in 2004 and was the artist in residence for ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum at the University of Edinburgh in 2006. He has worked across Britain and internationally. www.alistairgentry.demon.co.uk

Luce Irigaray is Director of Research in Philosophy at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris. A doctor of philosophy, Luce Irigaray is also trained in linguistics, philology, psychology and psychoanalysis. Now acknowledged as a key influential thinker of our times, her work focuses on the culture of two subjects, masculine and feminine—particularly through the liberation of a feminine subjectivity—something she explores in a range of literary forms, from the philosophy.

Leonore Tiefer, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in New York City. She is the author of Sex is Not a Natural Act, and other essays (2004) and has convened an educational campaign to challenge the medicalization of sexuality www.newviewcampaign.org and www.leonoretiefer.com

The Anatomy of Desire Publication

The accompaying essay is priced at £5.00. To purchase a copy please contact The Gallery Office on 01202 363272 or e-mail gallery@aucb.ac.uk. We ask for all cheques to be made payable to the Arts University College at Bournemouth on receipt of payment the publication will be dispatched. Please ensure that we have your full postal address.

(Download PDF for full essay / text)