ELAINE (MEI LIN) TAM



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is an itinerant curator, writer, researcher from Hong Kong currently living and working in London. She collaborates with artists and thinkers to create new forms and forums for critical engagement; her practice is an interdisciplinary site for play, pleasure, gesture, enquiry and, importantly, failure. Research interests include psychoanalytic theory, performance writing and feminist new materialisms.



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Tritongatan5 Gallery
Tritongatan 5
412 51 Göteborg
Sweden

7 — 9 August 2015

Featuring works by Josh Bitelli, Luke Burton, Alina Chaiderov, Oliver Hickmet, Julia McKinlay, Evelyn O'Connor


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This pool lined with blue tiles makes the chlorinated water an unreal too-blue.

We have observed representation's infidelity – representation in crisis! Buckling to authoritative powers in media, we no longer believe it to adequately represent us or to resemble our lived reality. Still, as much as we want to return to the loyalty of artistic medium, where there were once solid definitions we only find liquidity... A seeming dissolution of medium boundaries in artistic practice greets us in its stead. Video takes on a painterly quality, paint becomes sculpture, ketchup becomes paint. We were abandoned, left with objecthood as driftwood in a sea of signs and symbols. But perhaps this was enough --

The object was before us and is after us. It persists, enduring. In a life that resists forgetfulness and resists remembering, we meet with the transcendental, effervescent qualities of the object. It needs not tangibility, it needs not physicality; it can shed the husk of object-form for object-essence. Medium is such an object. Unassuming, it is never questioned while it underpins sites of experience. It is an ever-present foundation in our encounter with the vernacular of the everyday, that is thus utilized to varying extents for artistic means. A jagged landscape teeters into a site of precarious paper strips and graphic shapes that reminisce rock surfaces.

Its set of affectual qualities may not describe the object in entirety, but creates degrees of allowance, of malleability. Further afield, the artist intercedes with tools of hand and attitude; through conflict and negotiation, resistance and resonance, they use the medium to their means of expression. What is evoked in choice of the memory of a rubber inner-tube, of a synthetic fern scent, of the velocity of a water slide? The extent to which this varied specificity is responsible for touching the logic from which amorphous ideas are built, makes the experience in these encounters universal and accessible at the core.

This is the departure point; our jump from the jetty. We see the medium-object brought closer or further from it’s embodied reality by the artists' will – diverging, converging, paralleling, self-critiquing, U-turning. Brimming with consciousness, it lets its paradoxical tensions be known. Two opposing forces stand at either end of an elastic continuum - a paradigm of experience emerges. Strength and vulnerability, resonance and repulsion, austerity and playfulness, presence and absence, concreteness and abstraction, history and futurity.... Gleaming and twinkling in dialogue with viewers and other artworks alike, its surface like the sea.

'For you! I would do anything' interrogates the experiential dimension of varied encounters with contemporary artworks, in terms of medium capacity and artistic decision. In this diverse wilderness of artistic production, medium is a buoy. Everything else is up for grabs.

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Curated by Elaine Tam
Co-curated by Christian Feltham
With thanks to Kultur Ungdom and Göteborgs Stad