April 11 - May 23, 2020

This Grotto Breathes

Zoë Schneider

Opening; Saturday April 11, 8-10 pm
This Grotto Breathes


Due to the covid19 pandemic, we have postponed Zoë Schneider's upcoming exhibition This Grotto Breathes (Scheduled to open in the main gallery April 11-May 23.) We anticipate launching this show in late summer/early fall - and will update as soon as we can confirm dates!

In the meantime, coinciding with what would have been the opening of this show, Zoë Schneider will be taking over Neutral Ground's Instagram account for the week of April 11 - 18! Sharing works in progress & content related to her practice. If you aren't already following Neutral Ground on Instagram, find us!


THIS GROTTO BREATHES: In the fifteenth century Nero’s Domus Aurea, a forgotten underworld palace was rediscovered beneath the streets of Rome. The rooms were ornately decorated with frescos, mosaics, and abundant gold leaf. In awe, artists would visit the site, becoming heavily influenced by the spectacle. Deeming the ruin ‘grottesca’ or ‘of the cave’, the imagery and word would eventually morph into the contemporary ‘grotesque’.(1) Noticing that works depicting fat or transgressive bodies are often categorized as grotesque I decided to appropriate the root of the word (grotto-esque) to imagine a grotto made of squishy adipose-like bread. This Grotto Breathes is an immersive exhibition; imagery of cheap carbohydrates like bread and potato chips complicate understandings of fatness, food, and the modern-day understanding of the word grotesque. Simultaneously beguiling and threatening(2), we cannot help but be drawn to the grotesque. This murky fascination serves as the catalyst from which to renegotiate understandings of fatness through the architecture and slippery meaning of the grotesque (grotto-esque).

1,2 Squire, Michael. “Fantasies so varied and bizarre”: The Domus Aurea, the Renaissance, and the “grotesque”’, in M. Dinter and E. Buckley (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to the Age of Nero (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell), pp. 449. 2012.


ZOE SCHNEIDER: holds an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan (2018), and a BFA from the Alberta University of the Arts (formerly ACAD) (2009), and is based in Regina, Treaty 4 Territory, Saskatchewan. Working in sculpture and installation to critically examine the complexity of fat identity, Schneider considers topics including the expanding body, the body under restriction and surveillance, obsession in diet culture, the medical industry and the fat body, inherited food values, and societal confusion around food. Expansion, accumulation, restriction, and shrinkage are referenced through material explorations with bread dough, mortar, and silicone.

This exhibition has been generously funded by the Saskatchewan Arts Board.