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The Road to Transformation: new group exhibition reflects on a year living with COVID

Liminal Hiatus, a curatorial group exhibition featuring over 30 local artists, recently opened at GalleyOne11
in Loop Street, Cape Town and will run until 31 March. Reflecting on a full year of life in a state of flux, which the pandemic has thrust the world into, the show unpacks the interchangeability of familiarity and strangeness, during radical periods of personal and shared crisis. 
 “In the wake of the 2nd wave of the pandemic, we are all going through a stage of ‘liminal hiatus’ or living in 
 suspension… processing, digesting and yet becoming”, says Marita Schneider, owner of GalleryOne11.”We seem to be at a threshold, where dissonance serves as both muse and catalyst if we allow ourselves to consider the limitless possibilities of reinvention, and how commonalities can serve us in this endeavour. 
“The initial disturbance of the status quo, whilst wrought with uncertainty, provided much-needed time for introspection and analysis of the systems that governed us, the way that we built a society around this, and the dependence on capitalism-at-all-costs. As the dust begins to settle, what remains is a stark realisation that these systems might have been flawed to begin with. The exhibition poses  the question: Do we want to return to this former state of so-called normal?” 
Capetonian artist, Kyle Richard Solms, responds to this existential crossroads with the submission of two mixed media collages that highlight poverty and displacement as by-products of society’s obsession with comfort and wealth. 
Roadtrip‘ and ‘Roadkill’, two artworks from his series, ‘The Road’, feature prominently alongside award-winning photographer Bettie Coetzee Lambrecht’s contemporary photography submissions and carry strong social commentary that speaks to life’s fleeting nature. The work highlights a noticeable increase in wealth disparity, classism, fear and apathy in the post-COVID landscape. 
Says Jean Hugo, co -curator of Liminal Hiatus, “Good art, in particular, has a way of drawing us into the present moment with it’s magnificent force.  It often stops us in our hurried  tracks, flaunts it’s potential and leaves us gasping for more of it’s sweet truth-telling serum.” 
 In a statement that accompanies the artwork, Solms expresses his empathy for the casualties of a complacent society: 
“Life is about the journey rather than the destination – it has no departure point and no arrival point; the road is endless and abstract. This series serves as a dissident protest against indulgent notions of “arrival” and “normality” that tend to echo from those privileged enough to have survived an otherwise crippling global pandemic and yet still call for a return to a system that served very few. 
Roadtrip‘ and ‘Roadkill’ are offered up in a satirical, Dadaist ode to the true victims of late-stage capitalism, 
those who have been failed by our systems, and those who are no longer on The Road.” The two pieces feature a collage of images captured on 35mm film during level 4 lockdown, where the artist spent time walking through the Mother City and connecting with the homeless after a concerning report surfaced about the City of Cape Town’s Standfontein homeless site. 
Says Solms, “What always gives me pause is that despite circumstance, those who are well-acquainted with struggle,  who are accustomed to unpredictability, and who have little claim to material things tend to retain a pragmatic, unassuming outlook on life. There is courage in that vulnerability and true wisdom in staying adaptable and teachable. It is easy to forget the true nature of what society’s endless pursuit of wealth has created. Having the veil stripped from that trajectory has been significant historically. Hopefully, a few years down the road, we will be able to look back at this pivotal year, and say that our priorities shifted for the better.” 
The curatorial collaboration between GalleryOne11 and Jeanne Hugo of @Hugo_Modern will run for the remainder of March and is free for the public. Strict COVID-19 safety protocols will be observed. 

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