'Playing' or 'play' takes on multiple meanings in different contexts. ‘‘Deep play has been described as a game with high stakes that no rational person would engage with according to the philosopher Jeremy Bentham. The anthropologist Clifford Geertz further likens ‘‘deep play’’ in Balinese cockfights to artworks illustrative of ‘‘an essential insight into our very existence’’. It is furthermore the manufacturing of symbolism ‘‘of something very real in our social life’’.
The Right to play furthermore centres practices of play for children in refugee camps as an essential attribute to the quality of life often used by organizations such as the UNRWA (The United Nations Relief and Works Agency) to prioritize it as a child’s right. Whilst play can be seen as an innocent activity it can be infiltrated with seriousness.
The exhibition ‘Playing to the Gallery’ explores forms of play through subject matter and medium that emerge from the art making process from the studio that may come as a result of boredom, confinement, experimentation or doing what one usually does. In our current moment marked by a sudden global pandemic that has forced artists and gallerists to be confined to spaces that oscillates far beyond the conventional gallery and studio, how do our current spatial and material circumstances allow us to play our roles? Do we change our materials, do we continue to make the same work, do we stop making work and how does it reconfigure the way art is disseminated and understood? The exhibition is a group show consisting of works by several artists and explores how we have been playing to the gallery at this time.
Participating Artists: John Baptist Sekubulwa, Andrew Arim, Stacey Gillian Abe, Sanaa Gateja, Abushariaa Ahmed, Sungi Mlengeya, Khalid Abdel Rahman, Amna Elhassan, Jimmy 'Spire' Ssentongo, Letaru Dralega, Eria Nsubuga 'Sane'