Items of Neighbourly Dislike

Items of neighbourly dislike are those components within assemblages that do not conform to taxonomies, academic discourse, or consensual aesthetics. When protagonists bring together a selection of objects or artworks for research, they make sure to indicate the adjacencies that are legitimate. They do this through the language of display. Bad display, unresolved installation, jarring exhibits are a disturbance. Such items of neighbourly dislike shout out to be removed and replaced. Exhibitions are spun-out assemblages, which curators seek to tame. With an exhibition, the consensus is to glide, to be cogent, to give each theme and each artist their space, and above all to make relationships accessible. Should an artist’s work transgress into the field of another, poaching their credibility, then the curator has failed to ensure coherence. An item of neighbourly dislike makes for an uncomfortable pause in the conversation, a potentially violent imbalance that generates a sense of insecurity. Disruptive exhibitions including non-formatted conferences are, by definition, not good for visitors. Skin in the Game is an exhibition as half-way house, protecting artists from the glare, keeping the doors shut, so the bailiffs of art history can’t get in and remove the organs. The solution is vulnerability. May 14, 2023 In progress.