Review: 'All the Time in the World'
Between April 2020 and April 2021, during lockdown, the Steamship Project Space collective spent an unprecedented amount of time together in their residency, producing works that eventually culminated in the exhibition ‘All the Time in the World’ (8th – 22nd May 2021). Situated in an east London pub The Steamship, the Blackwall-based collective have an intimate relationship with the docklands. They find themselves caught up in the transitory and liminal states, navigating through neighbouring landscapes of past Imperial trade and glass curtains of Canary Wharf. The tensions of urban renewal and displacement of communities by virtue of gentrification leave a trail of spatial dissonance. It seems as though this nauseating experience has become a necessary condition during the Covid-19 pandemic, where staying indoors has warped into a series of conceptual explorations.
Curated by Gabriela Zigova, ‘All the Time in the World’ seeks to navigate through the heaps of surplus time that many of us have generated throughout the pandemic. From fictional holidays to domestic raves, the lockdown proved to be a source of creativity, turning the mundane into the transcendental. The proximity of everyday objects, people and the environment became an invitation to subvert the familiar — housemates turned into figures in a Hans Holbein painting, the aerial satellite views offered through Google Maps replaced travel while daily nature walks transformed into dérive.
Jordan Hall’s Corave consists of a series of prints depicting scenes of nightlife, which uncover the wider sentiment of today’s youth culture that yearns for bodily emancipation and pleasure. By choosing the medium of a print, Hall comments on the mobility of bodies which, despite the pandemic, continue to attend gatherings and express physical proximity towards each other. Plastered across the old pub’s bathroom, these prints creep into all sorts of different locations, mirroring the way in which illegal get togethers and raves emerge in the most secluded and unexpected urban areas.
‘Feel good. I’ve missed the feeling of fully losing control and letting my body do exactly what it wants’ — text on one of Hall’s prints.
Similarly, Edie Flowers’ sculptures are plotted around the exhibition space — some pieces are elevated up on the bar while others are placed humbly on the floor, almost imperceptible in their whiteness. These works function as plaster-like, anthropomorphic candelabras, ingesting melted wax into their bodies. While Edie describes her works as explorations of isolation, longing and anxiety, there is, at the same time, something very sensual and intimate about them. The circular openings, together with the flaccid candle that fell and leaked over the floor, are laid out suggestively in the centre of the exhibition space, inviting the viewer to crouch down and inspect the piece from up-close.
Gabriela Zigova’s Afterparty is a collection of photographs which document a recent phenomenon when the ‘afterparty’ became the only party. Strict government restrictions gave rise to small and tight-knit get togethers which usually, under normal circumstances, are post-rave occurrences. Time has imploded and folded in on itself, producing an endless stream of comedowns and confessions where everyone involved is liberated in the comfort of their own homes. Sincerity takes off its clothes and becomes an essential guest at these gatherings, creating a space of comforting perversion that stays within the group.
Other exhibiting artists include Abi Burt, Charlie Guy & Otto Taylor, Anna Chiarini, Ieva Stakaité (with Tamsin Kavanagh & We Are Replica) and Peter Sulo.
For more information on the collective, please visit https://thesteamshipps.com/ or @thesteamshipps (Instagram).