Crossings (a group show about intimacies and distances)
A collective pause, a moment to turn inwards – Crossings began with a reflection on the disruptions of 2020. As we shared the experiences of a global pandemic, of shifting political landscapes and transformative action, 2020 was also a time of interiority, of modified subjectivities and heightened anxieties as global lockdowns forced us to turn inwards. Together we withdrew from the world; our most intimate relationships were confined to our bubbles or existed only on screen.
Crossings is a group show sparked by these intimacies and distances. It brings together a range of artists and works that register the polarities of inside and outside, closeness and distance, health and illness and the impacts of larger external forces on our collective subjectivities. But it is not a show about the pandemic. The artists selected work in a variety of media, are of different generations, have different life experiences and cultural backgrounds. Few of the works were made during or about lockdown. Instead, the show explores how objects, images, and materials carry meanings that are opaque, at the edge of conscious thought, that suggest rather than proclaim. They niggle at the edge of knowing, to articulate the promise and fear of a threshold state.
The works in the exhibition include meditations on public and private spaces and our movements between them; on the body in states of illness, pain, pleasure, reproduction and death; on mobility and change in the face of political and economic turmoil, and on the inevitable impact of an unseen threat that has changed everything. They ask: how can these intimate experiences, fraught relationships, larger forces and their attendant effects be communicated in an art work?
Crossings includes moving image work from current Walters Prize finalist Sonya Lacey and the first New Zealand screening of Philip Scheffner and Merle Kröger’s filmwork, Havarie, 2016; installations by Next Spring, Grant Lingard, Turumeke Harrington, Yolunda Hickman and Rozana Lee; an artist book by Vivian Lynn; paintings by Emma McIntyre and Layla Rudneva-Mackay; photographic series by Allan McDonald and Richard Shepherd, and a new, illustrated text available online by James Tapsell-Kururangi.