Second Chances Text by Jessica Jordan- Wrench
Here is the full text written by Jessica Jordan-Wrench to accompany the Second Chances exhibition at 64a Gallery in Whitstable.
Second Chances is on until August 24th where you can pick up a printed copy to take away with you.
“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow.
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.”
According to Marshall Bruce Mathers III*, you only get one shot.
Contemporary culture is awash with similar sentiments: the play of your career, your moment to shine, your golden ticket. We are invited to roll the dice, flip the coin, pick a card. Our one opportunity is gaudily daubed on billboards, buzzes through TV screens, is lit up in lights. Even at death we are confronted with our odds.
In my imagination, chance links arms with luck. They are playground buddies, BFFs. They jump rope with fortuity, swap notes with serendipity. They giggle in the back of class and trade sweaty sweets when no one is looking. In reality, however, their relationship is less straight-forward. Chance, as opposed to luck, rests on a kernel of agency. Luck is passive. With luck, the outcome is inevitable, irrespective of effort. A roulette wheel is not guided to a halt by elbow grease, a croupier does not care how hard you tried. With chance, however, there is the space to act. Luck is tested, chances are taken.
And so, chance is a sibling of change. It is politically potent, held aloft by agitators and instigators, punks and provocateurs. Through the chasm of chance glints hope; yes, tethered to circumstance, but buoyed by possibility. Chance should be cherished, repurposed and reused. The embers of a first chance can spark a second, the third can fuel a fourth.
It may not be your lucky day, but you can take your chances again and again and again.
*aka Eminem. After 10 years of perfecting his performance, Mathers released his debut LP in ‘96. It was a commercial failure. Over the following year he lost his job, attempted suicide and struggled with substance abuse. In ‘97 he made another attempt, releasing the Slim Shady EP. It caught the ear of Dr. Dre. As I am sure you are aware, his second chance proved fruitful.