The title of this exhibition invokes the idea of a definitive position… a line. When a line is drawn, things on one side could be ‘this’ and on the other ‘that’. A line can divide and define not just affable neighbours, but adversaries… descriptions such as ‘them’ and ‘us’ can emphasise not just benign difference, but mutual antipathy. Art terms and ways to ‘read’ work likewise abound, serving to simply chronicle, or discriminate and polarize.
However, the curators are proposing that the works in this exhibition may operate simultaneously, on both sides of a line; that they ‘straddle the line’ rather than give their allegiance to just one side.
The proposition that an artwork might inhabit contradictory territories is not to deny the inevitability of borders and boundaries. It is to put the primacy of such divisions into question. It is to suggest that before cumulative knowledge and understanding documented the visual experience into descriptive categories and critical identities, things weren’t so certain.
To allocate distinction to these thoughts, is to become exposed to the possibility that visual sensation, which defies comprehension, is in co-existence with contradiction and paradox. The complexity and yet purity of this possibility in itself, along with exploring an alternative notion of difference, were driving principles in the choice of work, rather than any concern for formal consistency or search for aesthetic comrades.