‘Exchange Piece’ explores collaboration as an act of care through an exchange between 10 early career and senior artists and designers working in pairs to explore how care in the creative process affects the way we relate and position ourselves to what we create.
As we go about our daily lives, we encounter spaces designed to shape and regulate our behaviour. In A wall is just a wall, Kapwani Kiwanga exposes the mechanisms of these underlying structures through wall paint inspired by colour theory and targeted fluorescent lighting.
Objects contain meanings beyond their materiality, meanings that we bring to them or receive from them. Objects are the result of an action, entail traces of human gestures and evoke reactions or memories. They have the potential to be read collectively or personally. Maria Hupfield’s artistic practice reveals the way objects can trigger relationships between humans or environments.
In Echakhch’s process-based works, audiences are presented with the traces of an action. For instance, in Stoning (2010), the artist took bricks from a crumbling building – not a heritage site – and chiseled them into stones, recalling a method of punishment or execution. The tragedy that has befallen this place appears to have passed, and all that remains are the fragments of cast stones. Such gestures of abandonment and absence feature regularly throughout Echakhch’s oeuvre. Like Stoning, Cross Fade evokes the remains of an action that has already taken place. Echakhch’s wall painting of the sky appears to be falling apart. Fragments of the sky still exist intact on the upper sections of the walls, out of reach, reminding us of its beauty. However, large parts of the sky lie on the ground, creating a peculiar feeling that something beyond our control is either happening or has just happened.
A fish dying in the arms of a man is what first strikes us upon entering Jonathas de Andrade’s exhibition. The film O peixe (The Fish) depicts in ten vignettes fishermen cradling their catch, the two species merged in a morbid embrace of sinew and scale. The scenes in the film, simultaneously brutal and tender, confront the viewer with the tension and pathos of the dying process, up until the fish takes its last breath. At that exact moment, the scene moves on to the next couple – man and fish – and the tension begins again, transforming the single action, through endless repetition, into a ritual. The predator, the human, is stronger than its prey, the animal. He dominates it, yet he devotes himself to the fish throughout the process of its passing.