No horizon, no edge to liquid explores the concept of cultural hybridity as a space where bridges can be built between societies through processes of communication, negotiation, and translation. The exhibition includes work by 13 artists, all of whom were born outside North America or continental Europe, although many have since immigrated there. Encompassing a diverse array of media – painting, sculpture, video, installation and new media art – the exhibition explores how varying forms of hybridity can manifest through artworks: it might be expressed through materiality, the blending of traditional and new media, the dialogue between two cultures, or the interplay between art/craft, high/low or popular/elite.
Cultural hybridity is a pertinent topic in 2020: a point in which globalisation seems maximised, movement and migration seem inevitable, and yet shared borders worldwide are becoming increasingly rigid, with the UK poised to remove itself from the EU. Cultural hybridity seems both a logical outcome of our cultural moment, and a potential tool for resistance against rising nationalist sentiments. At the core of the key post-colonial theorist Homi Bhabha’s works on cultural hybridity are descriptions of hybrid narrative, experience and self-conscious perspective. Bhabha argues that new transcultural forms are produced throughout contact between a coloniser, or dominant culture, and its subject. This exchange produces a new ‘hybrid’ that stands in opposition to fixed national identities of cultures and belonging, negotiating a space in resistance to the dominant discourse, and questioning the idea that ‘culture’ is ever singular.
Most of the artists in No horizon, no edge to liquid are products of international movement – born in one place, educated in another, settled somewhere else. Some have chosen to remain in their homelands, whilst their artworks travel across the globe. Their works are manifestations of multiple forms of cultural hybridity, looking at and intertwined with multiple cultures.
By presenting disparate perspectives of cultural hybridity, No horizon, no edge to liquid poses the question: Is cultural hybridity an amalgamation of different components or is it a ‘third product’, created by the combination of two or more elements?
Arguably, the process of hybridisation has existed as long as humans have had the capacity to travel beyond their own communities, but as new technologies enable intercultural contact (from the Internet to more affordable international travel), the pace of cultural hybridity accelerates and its scope widens. The artworks presented are a means of communication within the space of the exhibition, but are they merely mouthpieces for the artists, relaying a specific cultural experience, or do they speak for themselves, as independent cultural hybrids?
ARTISTS Alvaro Barrington, Varda Caivano, Nir Evron, Richard Ayodeji Ikhide, Laura Lima, Mohamed Namou, Nam June Paik, Seth Price, Hiraki Sawa, Raqib Shaw, Nobuko Tsuchiya, Francis Upritchard and Saya Woolfalk
Alvaro Barrington. Courtesy of the artist, Zabludowicz Collection, and Emalin, London
Richard Ayodeji Ikhide. Courtesy of the artist and Zabludowicz Collection
Laura Lima. Courtesy the artist, Zabludowicz Collection, and A Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro
Nobuko Tsuchiya. Courtesy the artist, Zabludowicz Collection in collaboration with Tamares Real Estate Holdings, Inc. and Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London
Seth Price. Courtesy the artist, and Zabludowicz Collection
Here, in the building where Georges Bizet wrote his masterpiece Carmen in 1875, Matt Copson premieres a bildungsroman opera in three laser-projected parts: Age of Coming, Coming of Age and Of Coming Age. His opera tells the story of a baby at odds with a vengeful god, who tries to convince him that life is miserable and cruel, and nothing more. On view High Art, Paris