Adam Christensen, Monica Espinosa, Anneke Kampman, Erica Scourti
Co-curated with Ned McConnell.
Pump House Gallery, London
25 April – 8 July 2018
Adam Christensen, Oh-no, A-hole, curtains with metal rails (hand sewn linen and cotton), 2018
We Are Having a Little Flirt
In flirtation you never know whether the beginning of the love story, the start of the relationship, the initiation of the sexual interaction, will be the end. Flirtation creates a way of manipulating wishes, of feeding desires and playing with time.
By keeping the future and its possibilities open, it creates a space for deferral, a hole for contingency. Flirtation produces
a mixture of pleasure and frustration, a combination of excitement and disappointment. By means of ‘little’ gestures of enchantment and flattering, it teases our everyday life experiences, and suspends certainty and doubt. It eroticizes the ambiguity of our daily lives.
In his book On Flirtation, theorist and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips investigates the relationship of flirtation and contingency. According to him, the accident or unintended, gives access to unavailable thoughts and desires. Flirtation creates disowned intentions, and provokes the forbidden. Flirting implies taking risks, and plotting illicit possibilities; it is a game of playing with chance; of finding limits and challenging them; often accompanied by hesitation, excitement and adrenaline. Flirtation has the capacity to generate an uncertain and intermediary estate of being and non-being.
Flirting announces an unreliable promise and a future that may or may not occur. There is an ambiguous, silent and non-verbal language in flirtation. We are having a little flirt investigates this intermittent state which suspends the realisation of thoughts and affections, in the framework of contemporary art. It plays the intermediate space of possibility and the extensive field
of impossibility. Therefore, the exhibition invites us to flirt with the idea that art (like flirtation) has the power to sustain our illusion and awaken the life of our desire.