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Shelf Life
Ron Adams, Lionel Bawden, Drew Bickford, Cash Brown,
Adam Cullen, Samantha Edwards, Sarah Goffman, Prudence Murphy, Elvis Richardson, Kate Rohde, Kurt Schranzer
Curated by
Daniel Mudie Cunningham

The ‘shelf life’ of a product refers to the amount of time it can be stored before it spoils or becomes obsolete. Generally the ‘shelf’ in question is a retail space allotted for the display of consumer goods. Shelves, then, are temporal zones that see items coming and going according to highs and lows in consumer demand: when we want the product it gets restocked, when we don’t, it goes to waste. These ideas provide a rich source of meaning for artists when the conventions of use and display, as it relates to art practice, are considered.

Simply speaking: shelves speak to the things we collect, promote display and status, thereby elevating the very ‘thingness’ of our things. When, conversely, the whims of fashion, taste and novelty wear thin, that same shelved stuff lies dormant and abandoned, left to collect dust. As mnemonic devices, objects shelved are meaningful only because they’re attached to memories that risk being eventually forgotten. And forgotten is what often happens to objects filed away, shelved out of sight. As an exhibition featuring new work by eleven contemporary artists, Shelf Life engages with the lives of shelves, the shelves of life, life on the shelf, shelf life.

Image above: Samantha Edwards

Adam Cullen, Lionel Bawden, Prudence Murphy

Samantha Edwards

Prudence Murphy, Lionel Bawden, Kate Rohde,
Ron Adams

Prudence Murphy, Kate Rohde

Prudence Murphy, Kate Rohde, Ron Adams

Kate Rohde, Ron Adams, Sarah Goffman

Elvis Richardson

Drew Bickford