'Perpetual Arrival' exhibition guide, A5 4pp foldout. inside
Perpetual Arrival conceives of the creative process as a continuum punctuated by a series of moments – or arrivals – when circumstances converge to result in something which is generally agreed to constitute a work of art. We pursue our lines of enquiry, research our subject matter, marshal our evidence, manipulate and explore our materials. Periodically we arrive at something which is often treated as though it were a conclusion, but the reality for many of us is actually that it is just one point of arrival among a lifetime of similar arrivals and departures. We move on to create other points of arrival. Arrivals can act as a break, a chance to take stock, to stand back and learn from the intervening time and process. Then we move on.
For most people, travel has a beginning and an end, a departure and an arrival, the terminus of our journey, an objective attained. But refugees often talk of being in a state of perpetual arrival, of departing, travelling, arriving and moving on. A journey without end or clear parameters. This sense of perpetual arrival offers a powerful analogy with the creative practices gathered together in this show.
Arrivals can, of course, take many forms. For some the development is cerebral and the physical making of the work is largely about implementation of a plan. But things can change in the making and the artist remains alive to the possibilities of the unplanned and the haptic. The arrival might be anticipated but art rarely turns out the way we expect. The arrivals of others are often temporary: works come together for a moment, are then disbanded and reconfigured for a different site or purpose, the ‘arrival’ is a moving target and often impermanent. Sometimes what constitutes an arrival is arbitrary or ephemeral.
Processes take place; the division of a shape, the use of a numbering system, the continual use of a tool to make a mark, the subtle changes made to alter a visual outcome, the accumulation of experience passed from one object to another. Perpetual Arrival is about an investigation that never ends, sometimes linear, sometimes circular and the points of arrival and departure on the way. It is about the process, repetition, development and tentative conclusion, not a full-stop, more of a ‘working hypothesis’ and the inevitable moving on.
Curated by Eric Butcher, Hans Hancock and Patrick Morrissey. With work by Isabel Albrecht, Morrissey & Hancock, Silvia Lerin, David Batchelor, Rana Begum, Eleanor Wood, Thomas Vinson, Nathan Cohen, Mikael Fagerlund, Andy Harper, Michael Samuels, Jyll Bradley, Mark Francis, Eric Butcher, Eric Cruikshank.