Gray Wielebinski

By Any Means
group show curated by Gray Wielebinski at VO Curations in London, UK
July 23 — August 26, 2021

Screening Program

Wielebinski and curator/writer, Cairo Clarke, have programmed a series of film screenings that will be shown in tandem with the exhibition. These will take place in the fifth floor project space at V.O Curations on 24 and 31 July, and 7 and 14 August. The conception of a screening programme nods to the legacy of the underground and adult film cultures in the neighbouring London area of Soho, allowing for the thinking through of opacity as a tool to maintain the existence of spaces and communities that are constantly being pushed out and destroyed by institutional, commercial and capital-orientated power structures, whilst also recognising the danger of opacity when used by those structures themselves.
Saturday 24 July
Welcome II the Terrordome by Ngozi Onwurah Running time, 98 mins
31 July Terror Nullius by Soda Jerk
Running time, 54 min
Saturday 7 August
Metamorphosis, Episode 3: Emergence Produced by The Institute of Queer Ecology, commissioned by DIS Running time, 15 min
Saturday 14 August
Duilian by Wu Tsang Running time, 26 min

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.

photos by Theo Christelis