The term precarity – a state of perpetual instability – seems to be especially pertinent within the current moment. Informed by a widespread sense of collective societal anxiety, the exhibition explores the perception of precarity in the entanglement of past, present and imagined futures.
The three artists, Betsy Bradley, Gareth Proskourine-Barnett and Rafal Zajko, collectively engage with shifting architectures through a focus on materiality, the significance of the fragment, and a fluctuating relationship to place; the exhibition uses the tangible to make visible political and environmental concerns. Whilst considering precarity in a broader sense, the exhibition is also a reflection on its imminent locale. The impending arrival of HS2 will drastically alter Birmingham’s cityscape, and represents a significant threat to the existing artistic community within Digbeth. On the Subject of Precarity highlights the precarious position of art, and consequently artists, in a time of repeated cuts to artistic and cultural funding.
On the Subject of Precarity will open on Digbeth First Friday in May, where visitors are invited to watch the deconstruction of Rafal Zajko’s ice sculpture – a performance piece which explores ideas surrounding instability.
On the Subject of Precarity has been curated by MA Art History and Curating students at the University of Birmingham, in association with Grand Union.