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Peltz Gallery opens its first in-person exhibition since before the pandemic

New short film, Time Being, explores what it means to wait in and through experiences of care and was commissioned as part of the Waiting Times project, a research collaboration between Birkbeck and the University of Exeter, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Still shot from the Time Being film project

Peltz Gallery is delighted to return to in-person exhibitions, presenting Time Being, an exhibition of a meditative 14-minute film by Ruairí Corr and Deborah Robinson, open now until 8 April 2022. This is the first in-person activity in the gallery since before the pandemic and considers what it means to wait, particularly within healthcare contexts.

Waiting is ever-present in healthcare- from the time it takes to access services; through the days, weeks, months or years needed for diagnoses; in the time that treatment takes; and in the elongated timeframes of chronic illness, disability, recovery, rehabilitation, relapse, remission and dying. In this context, Time Being explores time and slowness and their sensory relationship to the way we acquire knowledge about the world and express ourselves. In place of narrative storytelling, the film pays intimate attention to four sensory materials: air, wood, clay and metal.

Deborah Robinson, Honorary Artistic Research fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter, said: I made the short film Time Being with Ruairí Corr, a young adult who has the genetic condition Adrenoleukodystrophy 2 that has led to sight loss, hearing and speech difficulties, Asperger’s and epilepsy. Working with Ruairí encouraged me to slow my pace to match with his, to let go of preset ideas and pay careful attention to qualities in the footage gathered - a path that led to a film structure organised around touch, materials and sound.” 

The film offers an immersive meditative experience and a window onto interdependencies, between one another and the world around us. As we live through an historical moment full of uncertainty about the future, Time Being provides us with an understanding of time beyond ‘productivity culture’, and alternative ways in which we might flourish.

Commissioned as part of Waiting Times, a research collaboration between Birkbeck and the University of Exeter and funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Waiting Times project aims to interrupt fraught, and at times polarized public debate about waiting times in the NHS. It acknowledges the agonies and anxieties of waiting for timely treatment within unprecedented waiting times across the health service. The five-year project tackles the crucial question of the time needed for care in a context in which time appears to be always running out.

Professor Lisa Baraitser, Joint Principal Investigator on the Waiting Times project, said: We are delighted to be showing Time Being at Peltz Gallery. The pandemic changed our relationship to both time and care. For some, time slowed and stilled during conditions of lockdown, allowing a new awareness of the body, relationality, work and sociality. For others, particularly those who were involved in providing care, it was a frenetic, dangerous, and precarious time. Disabled individuals who relied on care networks and timely care often found themselves in intolerable and unacceptable states of waiting. Time Being opens up a different understanding of waiting. Through a collaboration between two artists who sense the material world in unique and distinctive ways, ‘touching’ time becomes itself a mode of taking care that emerges out of relations of interdependency.” 

The exhibition is free and held at Peltz Gallery, 43-46 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD. Opening times: 10am-8pm Monday to Friday. The gallery is currently closed on weekends. For access information see the gallery website.

Book tickets for the Time Being exhibition here.

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