Emma Davidson



About this work

Risk & Chance

Risk and Chance began life as a series of nine photocopied collages that juxtaposed photographs taken from a 1980s era Encyclopedia Britannica entry on hobbies with text from a 1970s era book about the high adrenalin/high risk adventure past-time of cave diving (aka spelunking, or potting).

The collages were later printed at A1 and A2 size and installed as paste-ups during the 2012 This Is Not Art/National Young Writers Festival in a program curated by Danella Bennett. Small those this work is, it actually gets to the heart of many of my interests and what I try to explore in my work as an artist: the junction between work and non-work, the role that games play in our lives, who gets to risk what and why, how do we escape from the capitalist wage relationship temporarily in the spaces of our lives through our dreams and inherent creativity, and how will we exit capitalism permanently through collective praxis?

"Jeanette Winterson says (often) ‘what you risk reveals what you value’. But to risk something implies having it in the first place, and most of us do not—for all that we seem to be surrounded by stuff—have much.

The risk-taker is a cave-diver, mountain-climber, stock-broker, entrepreneur: his natural home is the mountain top or sky scraper. He is a he: masculine, heroic, explorer, discoverer, conqueror.

The ability to take risks suggests having the ability to control how one spends one’s time: it is the pleasure of the leisured, adventurer-gentleman. The man whose idleness is not, as it is with most of us, perceived as a symptom of moral degradation or ‘work-shyness’, but as his birthright. But we are not great men..."

© Emma Davidson 2018