Leisure Aesthetics is a solo exhibition by Blue Curry.
Fresh from his collaboration in documenta 15 in Kassel, Germany, with the Trinidadian art collective Alice Yard, this exhibition expands on his installations created there, while also presenting new works.
Leisure Aesthetics is Curry’s first major solo show in his hometown of Nassau, The Bahamas, for over a decade. In keeping with his ongoing social critique of tourism and how it impacts local culture with limiting stereotypes associated with “tropicality” and “paradise,” Curry is creating an installation-based exhibition that deconstructs the nuances and clichés of these fabricated concepts.
Within the gallery, a 300-sq-ft space that blends traditional Bahamian vernacular and contemporary architecture, Curry intervenes using everyday items and found materials that he re-purposes and customises. He creates thoughtful sculptures which use the clean precision of modernism while possessing a serendipitous or haphazard quality familiar to those living in the Global South. Conch shells rhythmically signal to us illuminated with LED lights, a colourful beach towel becomes a national flag hoisted on a flagpole and blonde braided, gold-beaded synthetic hair swirls around on the floor in a disembodied pile.
In this way Curry forces his viewers to elevate the ubiquitous tawdry paraphernalia touristic spaces like The Bahamas are swamped in as materials for conceptual art making and new cultural production. Dr Krista Thompson, Bahamian art historian and curator writes in Beyond The Veneer: Sunscreen and the Aesthetics of Leisure:
Fifty years later, when the beach and sunbathing entered the imaginary of the tropical holiday, tourism promoters then reduced the tropical holiday experience down to sun, sand, and sea, elements that Curry has used as the main medium of his work in the past. The process of condensing the islands to a touristic substance, a refined product, continues, even though it is now carried out by national governments in the postcolonial era. His work begs the question, what happens to culture and art when enlisted in these processes of extraction and commodification? What form of culture and art comes to be constructed through the medium of sand and suntan lotion? How are tourists also acted upon, transformed bodily, and indeed produced through these tropical products and cultures?
Leisure Aesthetics will also present a brand new video piece with an accompanying performance on opening night and in a meta gesture Curry will launch a line of retail-style Leisure Aesthetics merchandise.
Mahogany Hill, Western Road
Nassau, The Bahamas
email@example.com / +1 242 698 6300 ext 450
All information as per Tern Gallery website.