The exhibition presented over 70 submissions from practitioners based mostly in Kent but also in London, Oxford, Berlin, Lyon and Athens. Responding to an open call, they collectively reframed one of the most ordinary settings – the living room – into a complex domestic space in which identity, crisis, memory and matter richly interlinked.
The exhibition derived its title from Simon O’Sullivan’s 2001 essay on art and affect: ‘But in fact, art is something much more dangerous: a portal, an access point to another world (our world experienced differently), a world of impermanence and interpenetration, a molecular world of becoming.’ This instability was exemplified in many of the assembled works and ran through the exhibition space itself as it shapeshifted from the public gallery into a private, intimate environment and slipped back again. In there, objects and ideas balanced precariously, falling out of alignment in order to dismantle the idealised, safe ‘home’; others drew on emotional reassurance and nostalgia or probed the domestic space as a material site, an archive, a witness.
Visitors were encouraged to spend time in the exhibition and use the social area with chairs to rest, talk or read. They also participated in The People’s Choice Award (£100) by expressing their support for one work that had resonated with them the most. The Horsebridge New Ambitions Prize (£150) winner was chosen by a jury (composer Martin Herbert and curator Rose Thompson) in the second week of the exhibition.