Two Queens is proud to announce At Peace II, a group exhibition featuring contributions from Phoebe Collings-James & SERAFINE1369, Jade Foster, Dalaeja Foreman, Ryan Heath, Nadia Huggins, Ada M. Patterson and Thomas Wynne.
Following the exhibition At Peace which took place in 2021, Part II explores the fictitious collapsing of sections of the art world alongside ecological and cultural landscapes as the contributors know them to be now. An (art)world which is/was rooted in harm, disadvantageous categorisations, and exploitation. During the rebirth of a new art world, new habitats were created, which involved clusters of cultural workers surviving after the collapse.
At Peace II is one of these habitats, with installations consisting of painting, photography, sound, video, and sculpture related to essential components for fuelling the body: Air, water, food, shelter (warmth), self-defence, sleep, and equity. To address different ways for human and artistic survival, we have combined discourse, archives, and artworks in the gallery and online. Collectively, these contributions explore broader themes of intimacy, transnationalism, land, and place.
Inhabiting a timeframe between 2018 and 20??, the exhibition is like a cross between habitat and archive, situated in the present day and future—the core ethos of the show centres on restorative practice*, community building and world-building. In the gallery, the artworks span from autoethnographic** explorations of the catastrophe of Hurricane Dorian and the recent volcanic eruption (the largest since 1902) of La Soufrière in Saint Vincent to the uprooting of art and artistic practice onto a fictional island formerly known as the East Midlands and on a Mars colony. How do we respond to ongoing crises as artists, cultural workers, members of a community, and people residing in a place?
As part of the habitat, activity will occur in an imagined section of the art world called ‘Resource and Archive’. Created with artists and cultural workers from different continents or regions globally who reside in this area of the art world, art interventions*** will occur online or in person. We consider art interventions as ephemeral moments which involve the exhibition, a gathering, a workshop based on self-defence, and an artist development workshop focused on resting, sleeping, and dreaming.
The project’s theoretical start and endpoint take influence from American academic Christina Sharpe’s compelling call to action and conceptualisation of ‘wake work’:
In short, I mean wake work to be a mode of inhabiting and rupturing this episteme with our known lived and un/imaginable lives. With that analytic we might imagine otherwise from what we know now… (Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being).
Sharpe explores multiple ideas around ‘wake’—the path behind a ship, coming to consciousness, and imagining otherwise (the what-ifs and what could be). In her book, she describes what survives despite such insistent violence and negation towards Black lives. This way of thinking has been adopted by Jade Foster, who has contributed to At Peace II by bringing different practitioners together and curating the exhibition.
This project is made possible by public funding from The National Lottery through Arts Council England.
*Restorative practice can be used anywhere to prevent conflict, build relationships and repair harm. Restorative practice supports people to recognise that all of their activities affect others and that people are responsible for their choices and actions and can be held accountable for them. It enables people to reflect on how they interact with each other and consider how best to prevent harm and conflict.
**In this exhibition, Autoethnography is understood as an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural, political, and social experience.
***The term art intervention applies to art designed specifically to interact with an existing structure or situation, be it another artwork, the audience, an institution or in the public domain.
Image: Nadia Huggins, April 29, 2021 as part of the series The Beginning is the End and the End is the Beginning, 2021. © the artist.