Another Way Around
featuring the participants of SSP@VCU 2019
July 21, 2019
VCU Fine Arts Building
1000 W Broad St.
For the artists exhibiting in Another Way Around, our title alludes to our work’s interest in mapping new ways of being able to weave past the obstacles of oppressive ideological systems. We might substitute the path for a line of sight, revealing an interest in refiguring the perception of the beholder. The way around forms a spiral in which each pass oscillates the distance between the viewer and the object. Race, technology, spirituality, capital, and other institutions or instruments of power are considered in this material process of subversion.
Though the aforementioned system of interpretation can provide insight, the work within the show escapes a general political geography, as it would any thematic. This is because we did not organize ourselves around an idea and have instead chosen to respond to the atmosphere of our small community. A more transparent and rigorous way to conceptualize the relationship between works is to understand the collective conditions of their production, for each work has a stake in one another.
This contingency is produced much like a humidity that bleeds us all together. The shallow walls of our cubicle studios do little to permit a simple continuation of the practice that existed before we collided with one another. Our instinctive modes of production get interrupted by a curious visitor, the sounds of a debate in our common space–we might even feel ourselves lifted out of our usual way of working by the unfamiliar hum of our peers at work.
Our show demonstrates that collectivity in art production need not be predicated on explicitly collaborative projects or a catch all theme, but rather through a shared commitment to one another’s work. The thematic difference among our work is what becomes necessary to emphasize the less readily available spirit of this collaboration. Rather than seeking a narrative, use the other way around as your heuristic: read into the traces of each of our hands as they unravel our habits, threading sparks and insight only our shared difference could yield.