Bringing together works in photography by Pixy Liao and Lin Zhipeng (aka No.223) Each, Other articulates the ways that people are fragile, finite. Their bodies, their subjectivities, are composed of pathways that need careful guarding and constant negotiation, just as feelings, memories and emotions pour out from each of us and complicate all kinds of encounters. It is this energetic dualism that defines our cultural, social and economic worlds and that we can reshape by uttering our intentions, asking questions, formulating ideas and committing to lofty abstractions.
By doing this, we might open up nasty wounds behind our hearts, and name the layers of love and loss that animate us, that reveal how our vulnerability is not a weakness but rather a place from which we compose new ways of being in the world and with each other, as friends, family, workmates and lovers … or all at the same time.
We have each other, we take from each other. Love is mutual loss, and so it cannot be separated from work. In addressing love's relationship to labour - specifically the labour of love - knowing it impossible to untangle love from work, and meaningless to suggest otherwise, this exhibition does not critique such labour as precarious or hidden. Nor does it suggest that work needs to be measured by compensation and utility. Instead, the work of Liao and 223 reflects on how people hold themselves together and support each other as analogous to how nations, territories and regions construct themselves as a whole. And so it follows that there is no inside or outside; the everyday engagements between people, creatures, objects and ideas are co-constitutive. By acknowledging our distinction without treating ourselves as exceptional, can we create new possibilities for understanding and relating to each other?
Each, Other is drawn from the larger exhibition I have not loved (enough or worked), shown at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from November 2022 to April 2023.
Curator: Rachel Ciesla, Lead Creative, Simon Lee Foundation, AGWAGriffith University Art Museum is open Tuesdays - Saturdays, 11am - 4pm. We are closed on public holidays and during exhibition installation periods.