As part of the Archway With Words festival, writer Sejal Chad will perform a reading relating to the themes of the exhibition A Portable Hole. Chad lives in London where she practices as a counsellor and psychotherapist. She is part of the poetry collective Press Free Press, and her published works include She Has Two Kids, Open / Café Lemon, and My Kid.
A Portable Hole is an exhibition by Rachel Ara, Laura Fitzgerald, Patrick Goddard, Katrin Hanusch and Tom Mason.
The exhibition relates to the historic notion of the labyrinth; a concept that has been understood as both a site of refuge and incarceration. In Greek mythology, the architect Daedalus built a labyrinth to imprison the Minotaur, a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man. In Romanticism, however, the labyrinth was a symbol of sanctuary, “a setting for creative acts, a space ‘where time and the phenomenal world are placed in suspension.’” The exhibition considers both cultural uses equally, finding in the politically perilous present, an ever-growing need for both shelter and escape.
The exhibition’s title also refers to the fictional device made famous by the roadrunner and the coyote in the Looney Tunes cartoons. Resembling a circular cloth which is placed on a surface to create a hole, the ‘portable hole’ offers access through any surface it is placed upon. Particularly pertinent in relation to both labyrinths and times of austerity alike, the ‘portable hole’ is here framed as a pocket escape route, that provides its user with a getaway that would otherwise be impossible. It highlights the power of the imaginary, at a time when logic doesn’t seem to apply in the rapidly shifting socio-political landscape.