In Ki Smith Gallery's inaugural open call exhibition, curator Natasha Roberts presents Liquidity, a captivating group show that delves into the multifaceted concept of fluidity across economic, emotional, and physical dimensions. The exhibition brings together the works of 23 international artists, each contributing to a comprehensive exploration of fluidity through a diverse range of articulations, spanning subject matter, material composition, and underlying meaning.
Drawing from art sociological theory, Liquidity engages with the very concept as described by renowned sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. Bauman's theory of liquid modernity (Bauman, 2000) posits that contemporary society is characterized by a state of constant change and fluidity, where institutions, relationships, and identities are increasingly transient and unstable. By applying this theory to the curation of the exhibition, Roberts encourages the audience to reflect on how the artworks exemplify and challenge the fluidity of the modern world.
The ground floor exhibition features a display of stacked geometric forms, bathing rooms with accompanying metal fixtures, water and its likeness rendered through draped material and brushstrokes, metronomes mimicking a drip-drop, tick-tock, and changing tides, and more. While widely ranging across mediums, such as sculpture, drawing, painting, and collage, the artists collectively and cohesively illuminate the interplay between tangible and intangible elements, inviting viewers to contemplate the liquidity both inherent in our emotional experiences and present in our physical surroundings.
Descending to the lower level of the gallery, the theme takes on both literal and figurative dimensions. Here, scenes of sunbathing and wading in the ocean flow along towards depictions of domestic luxuries, and representations of emotional impulses, fear and memories that flood the mind. In this context, the exhibition becomes a space for introspection and exploration of the ephemerality of moments and the transitory nature of emotions, further underscoring the fluidity that governs our lives and relationships.
As the exhibition unfolds, the amalgamation of art and sociological theory in Liquidity fosters a profound understanding of our contemporary condition. By providing a platform for diverse artistic voices to articulate the complexities of fluidity, Roberts encourages visitors to contemplate our exchanges and the perpetual state of change that shapes our existence.
References: Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.