20.10.19

A resistance to flow opens Friday 25 October 6-8pm

Scarlett Steven

Open Fri - Sun 11am - 5pm 26 Oct - 10 Nov


Stickiness describes a material in transition. It is neither solid nor fluid, but exists at the viscous midpoint. It is fluidity in slow motion. It flows, but not so fast that it washes itself away. It oozes slowly, it resists ‘total material annihilation’. Despite its sluggishness, this material is impossible to pin down for long. It cannot be held to a particular material state, or to a particular place. It is perpetually moving towards, or away from something, or somewhere. It distends in a widening pool, or creeps towards the floor. It yields, in that it moves to accommodate the things it encounters. But these same things cannot emerge unscathed. They become stained, or oily—they get dissolved, or broken down. While stickiness can change the things it touches, it too is affected by these encounters, as it separates from itself and leeches into other objects. It can leave itself behind, in fact, it insists on leaving itself behind, but it does not transfer itself. Its particular tackiness is only ever present in the material itself, not in its absence. Its trace becomes an oily slick that is difficult to remove. It can be masked, but never fully erased, and always threatens to leech through. Its tackiness gathers up the things it touches, and creates randomised archives, which are accumulated and lost. Stickiness draws things together before breaking them apart again, but always carries with it the traces of where it has been before. Stickiness may be human or non-human, organic or synthetic; it is a property, a material, and a process simultaneously.


This exhibition features a sticky goo created in studio especially for this project. It engages in a material exploration of stickiness and asks, what is the political significance of goo? In a world that values, monetizes, and is characterised by both speed and fluidity, what would it mean to move slowly, or to coagulate? What would it mean to clump, to stick together, to stick around? To stay behind, to stain? To be difficult to remove? Stickiness speaks to the things that are impossible to move beyond, to let go of; those things that cannot be forgotten. It speaks to a politics, a method, a strategy that lingers—a politics that, like an oily residue on a gallery wall, can never be entirely erased.