By Any Means is a group exhibition curated by former V.O
artist in residence, Gray Wielebinski. Considering an expanded and contextualised exploration of revenge, the show includes new pieces by Dala Nasser and Zadie Xa, alongside work by Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Sunil Gupta Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers) and Gray Wielebinski. By Any Means acknowledges that revenge - how it is achieved and narrativised - is deeply rooted and inextricable from social, political and historical contexts, and the power structures that shape them.
By Any Means sheds light on the ways in which power is maintained through a myopic, individualised, simplified, and often racialized and gendered interpretation or portrayal of revenge, which is detached from broader associations. By Any Means considers how, against this contrived dichotomy, avengers can often both be limited in their options due to their positionality, and also faced with additional scrutiny and condemnation by society, no matter the choices they make.
When we zoom out and take our varying and interconnected frameworks into consideration, what can and does revenge actually look like? What does it feel like? How and when can it succeed, and who decides? Is revenge a moral issue, and if so, as determined by whose sense of morality? How can one get revenge, or justice, in an inherently unjust system? And furthermore, what new possibilities arise if we take a moment to reconsider our relationship to revenge; shifting it away from the myopic and the individual, and instead, towards collectivity, and as a way to transfer responsibility onto the systems, power structures and individuals from which the initial and often ongoing violence originates?
While experiences of revenge can often be oversimplified or overlooked, or the narrative stolen or co-opted by those who control mainstream narratives, through a conscious reframing, the works in the exhibition begin to explore how revenge can function as a supremely powerful motivator.
By Any Means demonstrates revenge as a potential path towards: collectivity, solidarity, hopefulness, refusal, world-building, illegibility, translation, community, duty, catharsis, humour, identity, immortality, survival, friendship, love, violence, acceptance, and resistance, to name a few.
By Gray Wielebinski
Gray Wielebinski (b. 1991 Dallas, TX, USA) received a BA from Pomona College, Claremont CA, USA in 2014 before completing an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK in 2018. He lives and works in London and LA. In Wielebinskis expansive practice, which incorporates video, performance, collage, installation and sculpture. They explore the intersections of mythology, identity, gender, nationhood and memory. Reconfiguring and transforming iconography and visual codes, their work seeks to navigate societys frameworks and belief systems. Engaging directly with the contexts in which we live, Wielebinski reveals how narratives reflect and shape our identities. His work opens up the possibilities for a more inclusive storytelling, by reimagining dominant societal mythology. Recent exhibitions include Two Snakes, a solo show at 12.26 Gallery in Dallas, Texas (2020), Our Ashes Make Great Fertilizer at Public Gallery, London, (2020) Repurposed Textiles at Krefelder Kunstverein in Krefeld, DE (2020) and at Frieze London with Hales Gallery, London, where he currently has a solo show.