It seems like the cult of the professional has decisively silenced the upstart impudence of the amateur. The dreamer, that quixotic escapist, has been relegated to the non-status of the hobbyist.
In London, of all places, we lurk in the shadowy penumbra of commercial galleries, the public/ private museums of the current Medici caste of collector. Perhaps this is a contributing factor to the attraction of the marginal places, the squats, the demolition sites, the ‘scheduled for redevelopment’. The not -yet- claimed, the unsafe structures, the interstitial spaces- like The Gateyard, in Forest Gate. Places like this feel below the gaze of the ‘adult’ world, beneath the radar of commercial development- if only on stolen time. Perhaps these semi derelict properties suggest an allegory for our unstable art practices - with an equivalent lack of security and uncertain future.
The artists in Stealing Time variously inhabit this reality in their work, where like for all of us, their ultimate goal perhaps is the mastery of time itself, the resource beyond price.
Pete’s pictures of building sites are snatched during his working day as an art handler, reclaiming his on- the -clock time into art time.
For this exhibition, Paul has collapsed the art/work dynamic by turning his camera on the language students he teaches. Is it possible for him to find art in this process, like the prospector with his pan of dirt?
Rocco and Adam, in their own ways, re-cast the techniques of their trades to subvert the outcomes of industrial processes and the closed structures of production. An embrace of entropy and futility are mediated by a restless and obsessive desire to make- the hands always one step ahead of the head. Anti-design for Anti-objects.
Simon’s and Joe’s work here form meta-narratives on their own ‘art careers’, always outside the circle of fire, looking in.