Think about nakedness, the risk, putting one’s whole body on the line. A new emotional and physical agency comes with the freedom from a protective shell combining simultaneously with the anxiety of waiting for the stronger exoskeleton to form. As in ecdysis, the objects act as tethers to those painful thrilling moments, continuing to conduct the original energy, lambent like burning filaments. The vulnerable performance act of all creation, whether public or private, marks the beginning. Now in ecdysis II, the first layer of skin remains a memory in Antwerp, exuviae. An absent architecture travels with the objects; the past lingers in this changed state. Though a body has left, the form remains. The writing body echoes in the cicada’s shell as the song finds another home and other ears. Structuring the show in two parts mirrors the titular biological process, another step of maturation. Taking gulps from wells of family history, sexual fantasy, and exploitative imagery, Patty Chang uses her own body to engage questions of gender, race, and empathy through photo and video. Lesley Moon turns to her body and its strength(s) to inquire into the modes of survival in a culture of constant expulsion. Likewise taking the profundity of the self as starting point, Felix Beaudry deploys analog and digital image making through the means of fabric both handcrafted and machine-made to explore the flux and meaning of identity. The structure and support of a body is absent from his garments yet linger in their suspension. Gabriela Ruiz recovers objects to reclaim the expenditures of emotional labor and personal expression, decadent painting a new shell. The movement of hot liquids, of molten plastic, the peeling away of layers provides Ilana Savdie the opportunity to probe desires under skin, the subterranean movement driving subjects forward. Spencer Lewis takes the dramatic movement of paint and the stability of wooden armature to see himself as prop and propped within the art system. His transmutable silhouettes exit rectilinear constraints and enter new space. Rafa Esparza considers the kinship formed through earth and the disruption of that earth through colonization, using adobe and paint as primary means. Todd Gray photographs himself in numerous guises, obscuring and amplifying his body under piles of shaving cream. Working on an opposite pole, Skip Arnold reveals his body in its duration, angles, and curves. Pleasure, strength, and wear cohere into Skip as object, into his ultimate reality as flesh material. For Aimee Goguen, abjection and animation are coterminous; extension and excretion share a bed. At root in Anna Garner’s practice is contact between objects, weight and impact providing moments of reflection. Her body occupies a paradigm of contained and elective risk, undertaking a spectacle of physical discipline latent with failure. With rupture as his material, Ron Athey excavates humanity’s darkness and light found in pain, sacrifice, and their recurring historical manifestations, the ongoing corpus of the world. They carry the lives of their makers, walking outward, an expulsion into more and more lives, more situations, more rooms. Some bits of skin and hair and spit have made their way into the object, a typo in the text, a glitch in the code, a discoloration of the film. A slip of the eye or lips or hand or tongue.