Elizabeth Price Curates : IN A DREAM YOU SAW A WAY TO SURVIVE AND YOU WERE FULL OF JOY

Price, Elizabeth [Curator of an exhibition] (2016) Elizabeth Price Curates : IN A DREAM YOU SAW A WAY TO SURVIVE AND YOU WERE FULL OF JOY. .

Abstract

This was a curated exhibition including over 70 artists. Price was commissioned to create it by Hayward Touring, which has an established record of organising exhibitions selected by artists. The premise of such commissions is that artistic methods and approaches, rather than a curatorial ones will be employed. The project of Price’s exhibition was to bring together images and objects that are constituted horizontally, or express horizontal states, things and appearances. It comprised to some extent an enquiry into form, but also it sought to consider the social and psychological narratives that such forms may particularly infer or promote. The exhibition showed how the horizontal form lent itself to certain subject matters: the depiction of sleep and dreams, sexual transport, illness and death, the art of mourning, memorialisation and of certain kinds of landscape. But it also sought to suggest that such forms also often inferred some narrative consequence. A central hypothesis of the show was that the horizontal state, whether literally or figuratively expressed might be regarded as proposing a temporal interval: a short sleep, an interruption or respite – in labour, gesture, event, which the viewer is engaged to imaginatively fulfil. Rather than being passive or inert, such works actually dramatise the notion of potential. And this argument was not limited to figurative art. A number of laterally composed, literal, minimal sculptures were included in the show. Price argued that the objects and materials, of which these sculptures are constituted, rest in place, certainly still, but not absolutely fixed. So, a radical change in their arrangement is always implicit. In order to give this narrative consequence some expression within the exhibition, the show was themed in four sections: SLEEPING, WORKING, MOURNING, DANCING intended to promote the sense of a cycle of life, and the real political and social world in which it occurs.

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