The concept of the “liminal” originated within the discipline of anthropology to describe the state of ambiguity experienced in the middle stage of rituals – the space occupied by participants after they have shed an old identity and before they take on a new one. More generally, the liminal has come to indicate a space or state of transience, transition and transformation; a space in between. Neither here nor there, this or that; the liminal operates rather on the border between fixed states. It is thus by its nature amoebic and intangible, resisting concrete categorisation.
Liminal Geographies explores the ways in which a group of contemporary South African artists have engaged with liminal spaces, both in representing them and working within them. It considers how these artists have given the liminal material weight and expression and how, through specific techniques and processes, the liminal itself becomes a means of production within their practice. Symbols and imagery of water and land – and the space in between – serve as metonyms of liminality and as liminal geographies in their own right. The liminal is thus presented as a fertile space of movement, progression, flux and fluctuation; a generative ground upon which innovative artistic practices, unusual modes of representation and beguilingly imagined and observed worlds can emerge.
The exhibition features Jean Brundrit, Katherine Spindler, Alexia Vogel, Swain Hoogervorst, Chloe Reid, Hanien Conradie, Virginia MacKenny, Katherine Bull, MJ Lourens, Vanessa Cowling, Svea Josephy, Chad Rossouw, Ashley Walters, Gitte Möller, Alastair Whitton, Sarah Biggs, Dominique Edwards, Robyn Penn and Lien Botha.