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Re:purpose

August 09, 2014 - September 07, 2014

Repurposing is the act of altering something so it takes on a new function. For many, repurposing is not just a preference, but also a necessary act of survival. While evolutionists may argue that the ability to adapt is central to the survival of a species, repurposing creates space to redefine reality.

There are subtle yet important differences between the terms adapt and re-purpose. The word adapt has many meanings, and within certain discourse, it is often associated with adjustments intended to make a more inclusive world. For example, we may modify a workstation to become wheelchair accessible; hiring practices are adjusted to respond to employment inequity and to encourage greater diversity in the work place. Adapting does not require major systemic change and rarely does it result in redistribution of privilege or empowerment. To adapt is to assume that the status quo should be accepted as is. Society however, presents an onslaught of misdistributions of power and inequality, and for the artists presented in this exhibition, the notion of simply conforming to this reality presents a gross failure of imagination. Instead, they repurpose.

This interactive group exhibition focuses on artists who repurpose and reclaim objects and ideas within their practice, and in doing so present new ways of seeing and understanding the world. Artists include Spanish artist Coco Riot, Jan Derbyshire, Cait Davis, Stephen Fakiyesi, Maria Hupfield and a collaborative video work by Jason Tschantré and the late Lisa Bufano.

Curated by Syrus Marcus Ware and Elizabeth Sweeney