Through their making, the selected artists present some of their beings to us, the viewers, with their portraits. With this exhibition, the selected artists suppose questions around the human condition, on looking and on being – through the divergent tides that wash up against various resistances. The capacity to explore ‘the self’ so often is kicked off by a relation of said self to others. This is perhaps the key role of the artist in today’s society – to hold a mirror up to the self and identify the other within? By surfacing tensions, artists are able to creatively navigate issues through forms of creative non-resistance. Creative non-resistance is not apathy – rather it is an acceptance of something in order to creatively re-route and offer up alternative ways to confront difficulties. Parallel to this, the conversation that can take place as portraits are paired with abstract works will push the viewer to think symbolically and explore the context of the self within the abstract – of the world, of this time in history, of beings as they can exist in multiple facets and formations.
In any creative process, there will and always has been a kind of questioning or examining, because making often comes from a need to expand or make new. The sculptural works of Stanislaw Trzebinksy use the human figure to navigate dimension and form within space – questioning aspects of the human conditions, interrogating how we interact with and impact nature. In turn, Philipp Pieroth investigates the spatiality of human interconnectivity both physically and metaphysically, celebrating the aspect of interaction as medium and formal elements flow interchangeably. Lars Fischedick incises and axes at the idea of physicality, embodying alternative methods and experiences of representation and introspection. As we ebb and flow towards Hussein Salim, he celebrates the prevalence of diasporic societies and the importance of diversity by drawing on subject matters that lend themselves to religious, cultural and geographical contexts. Asuka Nirasawa dives beneath the surface even further as she explores the minute ecologies, biological structures and complexities of the microscopic world by conceptually mapping out debilitating diseases. Natasha Barnes and Leila Fanner both translate the physical environment into impressions of colour and light, creating immersive and kaleidoscopic worlds that unfold before our eyes.
To flow and merge and blur and divert, artists are able to offer up a recourse for action and perhaps even distraction for the times when one feels like the tides are too strong.