In the first days of the Covid-19 pandemic, an informal group of contemporary galleries from around the world came together to discuss how to navigate through the new challenges of the global crisis as it affected our artists, staff and businesses. The relationships among us over weeks of exchange became close and essential and we discovered that while the pandemic had broken many things apart, it had also brought us together. A supportive sense of community ignited positivity and cooperative interactions, and the initial group of twelve grew to twenty-one. As an expression of this unity we initiated Galleries Curate, a collaborative exhibition designed to express the dynamic dialogue between our individual programmes.
Galleries Curate: RHE is the first chapter of this collaboration, an exhibition and website themed around a universal and, we hope, unifying subject: water. Like culture, water is never static but always in flux. From January 4th until May 30th, 2021, a total of 21 exhibitions will be presented concurrently on our online platform and the exhibition spaces of the participating galleries.
Following the inaugural exhibition “RHE,” Galleries Curate plan to invite new participants and add further curated chapters to a global conversation of thematic relationships between galleries, artists, and their audiences.
As part of Galleries Curate: RHE, Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Sadie Coles HQ, London have combined elements of their programmes. A preview of the resulting exhibition, titled ‘Tempest’, is on view now at the Galleries Curate website. For the duration of the show, each of the two galleries will offer exhibition-related materials on their respective websites and social media channels including images, videos, and online talks until 27 February 2021.
‘Tempest’ is a group show that reflects on the ability of water to transform into different states and explores transformation as an act, a fluid and physical process, that can present change in appearance or form, and offer an opportunity for renewal.
Each of the artists in this exhibition interpret transformation on a symbolic, material or spiritual level. Oliver Laric’s videos and sculptures analyse the instability and hybridity of objects as a chance for growth, while Monster Chetwynd’s work grapples with notions of ephemerality and metamorphosis through forms of ritual and solidarity.
Sky Hopinka’s dreamlike films traverse indigenous themes of history and myth remembered in the present as a promise for the future, and the assembled imagery of Michele Abeles scrutinize the transformative nature of images and associations from both digital and analogue sources.
The sensual representation of clouds in the work of Alvaro Barrington is inspired by the suggestive state of transience between water and air, and of course by J M W Turner’s tempestuous land- scapes. Water becomes an active medium in Pavel Büchler’s paintings, which undergo a physical transformation as they cycle through a washing machine.
Bringing together works of video, painting, sculpture and installation, Tempest refracts the concept of panta rhei – everything flows – through the lens of the fluid, transient and transformative nature of both culture and water.