By María Teresa Chadwick, MA Arts and Science student
‘Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Have the patience to wait! Be still and allow the mud to settle.’ (Tsu: 2017) I quite sympathise with Lao Tsu’s ideas. Probably, when Tsu wrote them on the 4th Century bC, never thought that they would still be making sense nowadays. It is so true that when you try to force things in life they never work, is always better to keep on with the flow. It may sound like a cliché, but this is how ‘The Fragility of Culture in a Disposable World’ begins.
On October of 2016 I decided to attend to a UAL conference concerning the creative market at Chelsea College of Arts titled Innovative Business Models in the Arts / Creative Lenses Forum London on 13 Oct 2016. It had been nearly a month since I had arrived to London. In one of the breaks, I was speaking to someone randomly about my work. Suddenly, a woman approaches me, and makes further inquiries about my artworks. Then I showed her couple of pictures, she liked them, we exchanged cards, and couple of months later the Committee of the Gallery of the Central Library at Leeds, was approving my proposal to exhibit at their space.
Perhaps the two greatest challenges I have faced on this project have been both adapting my work to what the curatorial team wanted, as getting the funding. I already had some oil paintings inspired on Los Tachuelas Circus last functions at General Velásquez with Alameda Avenue, at my hometown, Santiago, Chile. Through them I wanted to express how culture struggles to survive in a hyper capitalist world. But how could I connect them to the Library?
After thinking a while, I realised that a listed building as a Library, passed through similar issues than a circus. Therefore I decided to include a papier-mâché installation with photocopies from Leeds Central Library collection. The installation consists on suspended spheres hanging from the ceiling. They attempt to reflect about the fragile state in which culture remains in our society. Likewise the image of the circus is also a metaphor that reflects the emptiness of joyfulness of the Society of the Spectacle we are living (Vargas Llosa: 2015). Regarding the funding, after knocking several doors, achieved to get funding for the installment through the Library, a philanthropist and winery.
Besides the oil paintings and papier-mâché installation, I will be exhibiting some videos of my ethnographical research on London’s Underground and Overground, research process and my first kinetic interactive sculpture. ‘In the jungle sculpture’ has been created to respond to people stimuli. I quite enjoy the idea that with robotics contemporary artist can give life to their pieces. Hence has been a total adventure to finish my sculpture with the workshops closed! But luckily found Rudi Liney, a retired mechanical engineer that has aloud me to work on his workshop and taught me about mechanics.
‘The Fragility of Culture in a Disposable World’ invites to reassess haptic connection with the world. Everybody is welcomed to Tere Chad’s fourth solo exhibition opening on the 24th of August 18:00hrs at Leeds Central Library, Room 700, Calverley Street, Leeds, LS1 3AB. It is going to be opened free to the public between the 25th of August and the 14th of September. Check venue website for opening hours: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure/Pages/Central-library.aspx You can also check updated information about workshops and guided visits at the artist instagram account @terechad
Tsu, L. (2017) Tao Te Ching Quotes Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/100074-d-o-d-j-ng (Accessed: 25 July 2017)
Vargas Llosa, M. (2015) Notes on the Death of Culture, Essays on Spectacle and Society. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux books.