Killing Time is a group exhibition which explores the ‘dirty habit’ of smoking, and questions the contradiction of celebrating the cultural value of this increasingly socially unacceptable act.
Since 2011, Chapter House Lane has offered smokers a backdrop against which to enjoy what Jean-Paul Sartre described as a ‘little crematory sacrifice.’ The cigarette butts littered outside the display window provide material evidence of an incidental audience, who – like second-hand smokers – have passively consumed the exhibitions. But as regulations on public space and anti-smoking legislation increase, what happens as these audiences are pushed further to the perimeters? Who do these laws impact, and in the pursuit of public health: what is lost in the sanitisation of the city?
As art critic Brian Dillon has described, ‘smoking is (or was) the modern means of experiencing time: a way of briefly opting out of a tedious job, or accompanying the rhythms of work and thought with a glowing rosary.’ Killing Time is a tip of the hat to our unintended smoko audience, who included Chapter House Lane in their quotidian navigation of the city for a hit of nicotine.
All are welcome – not to celebrate the cigarette, but in endorsement of the abiding state of ambiguity the laneway provides. Here you may kill time however you best please.
This exhibition opens on Thursday 5 July from 6–8pm. Please join us for a drink.