Not For Entertainment
Few exhibitions in recent memory, save perhaps 2007's Turbulence Triennial, have self-consciously assembled work that is so hard to look at, so challenging to think about, and so necessary. Doris Salcedo once said of her work that: 'As an artist, I don't have the opportunity to choose the themes that inform a piece. The oft-celebrated freedom of the artist is a myth.'
The artists that make up Whitespace Gallery's Not For Entertainment - Andy Leleisi'uao, Ross Ritchie, Niki Hastings-McFall, Pete Wheeler, Lauren Lysaght, and Locust Jones - share the impetus to create works that confront realities that we wish were not real. Lysaght's miniature hearses lose no elaborateness to their scale, and Hasting-McFall's tiny tomb breathes an optimistic breath into her version of a burial. Jones' ink drawing recalls Picasso's Guernica, while Ritchie and Wheeler offer modernised momento mori. Leleisi'uao slight sculptures, though unsettling, are themselves born of an awareness of a reality that must be addressed.
Not For Entertainment draws together a group of artists that are all engaged in a startling project - creating works that confront their own realities as artists (and humans), while reminding viewers that we are not immune to these realities. The prospect - and likewise the exhibition - is challenging: this is not for entertainment.