Traffic takes as theme the contrast between American ideas of the Road Movie and the romance of road culture and the European equivalent which is more involved with tailbacks, traffic, monotony and stasis. The works in the show highlight this dichotomy and deal with what has become an attitude, a way of life not just a side-effect of travel.
Despite the lack of the grand gestures of the road movie in Britain, the desire for the romance of the road endures as does the ironic acknowledgement of the lack of the road or the style to do it properly. The sense of being on a small car-riddled island curtails any delusions of motoring grandeur as does our willing submission, “to perform the endless heel-toe quickstep of grinding synchromesh” (Will Self) instead of a vehicular tango. The romantic potential is more often experienced as a banal monotony.
Artists: Augusto Alves da Silva, Dryden Goodwin, Julian Opie, Mabel Palacin, Mark Somerfield, Nick Waplington, Gary Ward & Oli Watt. The works will be shown in the gallery, on our projection window viewed from the street at night and also on advertising billboards on commuter routes in Sheffield. A series of video works will also be shown in Jackie Chettur’s Silver Dream Machine – a car converted into a cinema which will be parked outside the gallery for the first days of the exhibition.