Semelparous by Joey Holder

4 February 2020

Semelparous by Joey Holder

Joey Holder previews Semelparous, a site-specific installation in the Pool and Spa of the now-closed Springhealth Leisure Centre, at 6.30pm Thursday 13 February.

A species is considered 'semelparous' if it is characterised by a single reproductive episode before death. An example of this is the European Eel.

Joey Holder has been examining the irreplicable forces of the natural world through decimated research of the European Eels complex migration, reproduction, and biological makeup.

A monument to the European Eel, Semelparous revolves around Holder’s newest video work, situated within a complex physical structure. The eel is depicted as a mythological symbol, biological specimen, and it’s most controversial role: food.

Each Autumn, European Eels leave their freshwater river homes and migrate more than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, to the bottom of the Sargasso Sea, to breed for a single time. However, this mysterious process has never been fully documented.

Today young eels are after captured and reared in farms throughout various regions of Eastern Asia until they are harvested for food. European Eels have been critically endangered since 2011, and feature on Greenpeace International’s ‘seafood red list’.

Holder has created Semelparous responding to the eel population crisis, spawning migration, and structural characteristics of the Springhealth pool. The installation will be open 4 – 8pm, Thursday – Sunday until 22 March 2020.

Address: Springhealth Leisure Center, 81A Belsize Park Gardens, NW3 4NJ

Joey Holder is multidisciplinary artist based between London and Nottingham. Her practice raises philosophical questions of our universe and things yet unknown, regarding the future of science, medicine, biology and human-machine interactions. As a guest lecturer during our Master Class 2020 programme, Holder recently presented an artist talk at Zabludowicz Collection’s London space.

Curated by Julia Greenway Semelparous is presented in partnership with Harlesden High Street. This exhibition is generously supported by the Zabludowicz Collection and the artist's work appears courtesy of Seventeen, London.