Share / Cheat / Unite

The Physics Room

02 September 2017 - 08 October 2017

Gemma Banks// Yu Cheng-Chou// Sasha Huber// Anibal Lopez (A-1 53167)// Chim↑Pom// Pilvi Takala// Johnson Witehira

Share / Cheat / Unite is a collaborative exhibition between Te Tuhi and The Physics Room Contemporary Art Space. Featuring international and New Zealand-based artists, the exhibition delves into the human psyche to consider how altruism, cheating, and group formation play a key role in shaping society, but not necessarily in the ways we might assume.

First shown at Te Tuhi in Auckland last August, this version of Share / Cheat / Unite brings a new selection of artists together to create new inter-work connections and develop aspects of the original exhibition. Three artists remain from Te Tuhi: Anibal Lopez (A-1 53167), Yu Cheng-Chou, and Sasha Huber, and four have been introduced: Gemma Banks, Chim↑Pom, Pilvi Takala, and Johnson Witehira.

This iteration of Share / Cheat / Unite focuses on communication strategies and the use of language in the service of persuasion, coercion, and reconciliation. A new commission by Christchurch-based artist Gemma Banks situates these ideas in The Physics Room’s immediate environment of the post-quake ‘Innovation Precinct’; a model of neo-liberal urban development designed to legitimize and maximize productivity through a language of creativity.

It is the system’s Foucauldian reliance on language to uphold its values that the artists of Share / Cheat / Unite address directly. Yu Cheng-Chou, Anibal Lopez (A-1 53167), and Pilvi Takala focus on the human consequences of a market that privileges and valorizes certain forms of labour, while Johnson Witehira, Sasha Huber, and Chim↑Pom challenge the ongoing, and traumatic, effects of language within histories of inequitable power relations.

Each artist in Share / Cheat / Unite capitalizes on the system’s paradoxical relationship to creativity – the artist at once precarious and unusually mobile – to operate with one foot in the sphere of creative practice, and one foot out, employing guerilla tactics to actively share, cheat, and unite.