The exhibition DE-celerate attempts to capture the fluctuations in artists' thinking at the time of a worldwide pandemic. The basic human ability to adapt for survival meets the hope that better times may emerge from uncertainty.
In a non-didactic manner, and acknowledging the inter-relationship between humans and nature within mātauranga Māori, the exhibition explores how ways of doing, thinking and being in the world may shift at this time. It proposes that criticality and positive connections may also be nurtured by the demands of resilience.
DE-celerate is articulated through artists’ works and live activations. Drastically limited by the travel restrictions preventing many artists’ visits, the activations take place instead through the invitation for audiences to take home or barter for certain objects. This process of exchange is one response to an increased appetite for human interaction after self-isolation.
The artists were asked to consider how isolation and confinement affected their thinking, and, by extension, their practices. For most of these artists, the fragility of the status quo, social atomisation, and the challenges posed to individuals’ health revealed by the pandemic caused them to slow down, and consider how to live with more empathy and compassion in relation to their environment.
However, one question remains unanswered: are humans ready, or even able, to decelerate? As the pressures imposed by savage capitalism grow daily, is this global economic paradigm forcing us to return to patterns of behaviour that are both inhumane, and dangerous?
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→ DE-celerate family activity pack