Attached are two presentations, one longer version and the other a cut-down version as to present within the 12 minute time limit.
Short-cut (presented to Ori):
For my third and final option, I have chosen to disband established galleries, instead seeking to organise and run ‘pop-up’ exhibitions with fellow students and/or other emerging artists. My current position, as a student within a creative arts university, bestows me with an invaluable opportunity to make such happen with relative ease, for there a thousands of potential artists looking to kickstart their professional careers and get their name and work out there. An example; just in our small group for this unit, there are two other artists producing work of a similar context, that are interested in grouping together and making such a reality. Such events could be held within empty disused/abandoned locations; shops, pubs, clubs etc. for relatively cheap, especially with costs shared amongst a group of exhibiting artists. Westminster city council’s website has a fantastic guide on using empty spaces for art projects that details what to do if you’ve found a location, how to find a location if not, business rates and licences and planning permissions. Finding a space is perhaps easiest to do on foot, as it is difficult to verify that any which location is still indeed empty, without evidencing it for yourself in person. And so, I hope to carry out such a search with fellow students, perhaps after visiting one or more of the many art fairs currently taking place in London. There are also a number of agencies online that can help with locating and securing a space for art projects, these include:
Pop-ups exhibitions are perhaps the fastest way to exhibit you work and provide a fantastic opportunity to, of course, get your work seen, but also and as with the artist-run galleries, network with other artists. They can also provide artists with the opportunity to contact and invite curators of galleries they may wish to exhibit at in the future, and are a great means of artists presenting themselves as proactive and determined individuals, not afraid to use initiative and make things happen for themselves. Such an event will need to be well promoted and so, I will now talk about visibility tactics, but on a broader more general spectrum as to save time and encompass my work as a whole.
Flickr profile (all image sharing platforms kept up-to-date):
Interimspaces is a charity that looks to be attempting to plug the gradual bleeding of London’s creative talent. Ever rising expenses, have driven out large swathes of creative professionals, now unable to afford to work within the city. Interimspaces, works with the owners of abandoned spaces, as noted on their site:
‘We offer landlords a cost effective and socially responsible solution to empty property, delivered by professionals with over 15 years experience in building management and meanwhile use. Working with us, your building will be secured on a round-the-clock basis, saving rather than costing you money, right up until the point you need it back. Meanwhile, we help London retain its creative talent, our communities benefiting from regeneration that creates value in otherwise disused properties. An ideal solution for landlords of vacant property’.
I think that in approaching the charity, to inquire about funding and assistance in exhibiting within such a space, it would be of much value to have and evidence footwork done on my end – to not approach them and expect them to do all the work for me. And so, I would like to carry out a search, and compile a list of potential locations, contact numbers and so on, and then contact the charity with such. Visiting these locations physically is of an utmost importance, as it will allow you with far greater veracity, to decide as to whether the venue and its surroundings are right for the sort of exhibition you wish to hold. Of course, I and the group I would be exhibiting with, know our work best, and thus having control of the venue type and location, as opposed to the charity placing us wherever they can, is a far more desirable situation.
Interimspaces will provide another level of support, and a level of expertise that would likely prove very hard to come by. Of course, the financial benefits for myself, are very desirable, but the expertise the charity will provide in finding and securing a venue, is invaluable. I have contacted the charity, through the email form available on their site, and inquired about finding a space for my graduation exhibition next summer. I have also sign-up to their eMail newsletter. Evidence below.
Interim spaces email inquiry:
I have come to find your charity whilst carrying out research for a university assignment. I am a third year BA Photography student studying at UCA Rochester, and am currently looking into exhibiting my work within an affordable empty space for my graduation show next summer. I am hoping to rile a group of other graduating students together, however many could feasible fit within the given space, as to share costs and any other such responsibilities. The University, for several years, has exhibited within the space at Free Range, in which many other arts universities also exhibit in at the same time, but in response to feedback from students (too expensive, little pay-off) they are looking for alternate spaces and too, ways of doing things. Hosting, perhaps several, ‘pop-up’ exhibitions around London is one such alternate way on the table. How long does the process of locating and securing a venue typically take? And furthermore, what are (approx. if possible) the expenses involved? We would, ideally, be looking to exhibit within a somewhat close proximity to Free Range, in order to ‘capitalise’ on its traffic. Look forward to hearing back from you.
All the best,
Interimspaces email signup:
eMail sign-up confirmation:
Gallery type: Artist run
Host artist(s): James Edgar and Sam Walker
Short artist bio:
James Edgar and Sam Walker, collectively known as Edgar-Walker, are a collaborative duo of artists who have been working on projects together since they met each other whilst studying a MA Fine Art course. As noted by on their website, ‘Their approach to making has been influenced by ideas around play, dialogue and experimentation. Edgar-Walker’s sculptures, installations and printed matter utilise a palette of found and overlooked materials from everyday contexts. Their varied output registers as both formal and playful, seeking to delineate the boundaries between material, image, form and function’.
Image: Assembly point gallery space
About the gallery:
Location: 49 Staffordshire Street, London
Travel links from my location: Very good
Cost to exhibit: Free
Selection process: Curators/cross-pollination between workshops and studios
‘Turning To Dust’
10 Nov – 9 Dec 2017
Assembly Point was subjected to the same compatibility assessment as Guest Projects, and so has also been deemed to facilitate the strategy outlined at the beginning of this presentation. Again, just as with Guest Projects, Assembly Point is a gallery dedicated to emerging artists/recent graduates. Though unlike Guest Projects, work is not chosen by means of a panel of judges. Instead, a lot of the work exhibited at Assembly Point, is hand-selected by Edgar-Walker, or associate curator, Marios Stamatis – All of whom frequent art fairs, galleries, exhibitions and so forth, in the search of new talent. It was Assembly Point’s write-up featured within an article published by artsy.com that formed the ideological basis for my strategy:
‘Their space, a former Methodist Hall with plenty of character, has room for studios and a gallery space, and generates healthy cross-pollination between the two (studio residents appear in group shows with some regularity)’.
This is precisely the gateway I have outlined. Assembly point, also plays host to workshops and events, on top of studio space and residencies. It is a very active space, run by two evidently ambitious artists, and thus would provide a frequent, reliable outlet for the implementation of my strategy. Working within a studio resident position is something I am very interested in doing, and so Assembly Point, in facilitating such, as well as noting that there exists a ‘healthly cross-polination between the two [studios and exhibitions]), Assembly Point could provide an opportunity for me to kill two birds with one stone.
From carrying out my own searches on instagram, through searching by location, I have been able to find images of past exhibitions, which I was unable to find on Assembly Point’s site. There are a fair few examples of photographic work within the space, which is promising to see:
Gallery type: Artist run
Host artist(s): Yinka Shonibare
Short artist bio:
Shonibare’s is a British-Nigerian artist whose work explores issues of race and class through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and film. His most notable works include:
‘Gallantry and Criminal Conversation’ (2002)
‘Nelson’s ship in a bottle’ (2010)
And finally, ‘Globe Head Ballerina’ (2012)
In 2004, Shonibare was nominated for the Turner prize and later received an MBE… And his works feature within numerous prominent collections, such as the Tate Collection, London: Victoria and Albert Museum and Washington, D.C.: Museum of modern art.
Image: Guest project gallery space
About the gallery:
Location: 1 Andrews Road, London (alongside Regent’s canal)
Travel links from my location: Very good
Cost to exhibit: Free
Selection process: Judged submittal
Friday, October 20, 2017
‘WEISSLICH VOL. 10’
‘Weisslich partners with guest curator Teoma Naccarato to feature an evening of two back-to-back concerts of experimental dance and choreography, sculpture performance, and new work for flute and trombone. Featured artists include: Teoma Naccarato, Richard Craig, Emilie Gallier, Jon Roskilly, John MacCallum, Lotte Van Gelder, and Mark Reiner’.
As noted by the Guest Projects site, ‘Guest Projects provides young artists with the opportunity to create and showcase their work, without the financial pressures that often come with producing and exhibiting new work. Time and space are both essential to creative production, yet are often hard to come by. Shonibare’s experiences as a young artist saw him learn this firsthand and inspired him to set up the program’. So, it is a free space open to artists of, ‘any discipline’ and of course, by having survived my selection process, is evidence that the strategy outlined earlier in this presentation can be facilitated by the gallery. For, Guest Projects sees host not only to exhibitions, but talks/seminars (as of March this year) as well as a monthly/bi-monthly event called, ‘The artist dinning room’, which they refer to as a, ‘supper club’, in which, ‘creative minds can engage with the ideas of a well known artist through food’. With past dinning room events featuring discussions on artists such as Sophie Calle and Andy Warhol. And I feel this is what is so interesting and exciting about Guest Projects, not only do they offer the opportunity to exhibit for free in a space owned by a world-known award winning artist, they are also not afraid to try new things. To be at the for-front of such and to have the opportunity to see how Yinka’s creative process works, would be invaluable.
Attached is a link to the presentation for week 2:
Image: David Bailey x Bruce Weber exhibition – Shoreditch, London (2014)
As an emerging artist, my main concern when conducting my searches, was not that of the type of work exhibited, because I rather feel this becomes secondary when the tenuousness carried by the emerging artist is considered. Beggar’s can’t be choosers. What was more of a concern, was finding any gallery that would be willing to host emerging artists, and then working backwards from there on. What I did find in my initial searching, was a string of dead ends, ‘404 this page cannot be found’ and the sort. A cyber graveyard of the would-be platforms for my hopes and dreams, and I realised Ori wasn’t just being dramatic. Collectively, they at least exhibited one last picture, albeit a bleak metaphysical one. Here are three I did manage to find, who are still kicking (or perhaps feebly trembling):
The Brick Lane Gallery
Location and contact information:
The Brick Lane Gallery | 216 Brick Lane | London | E1 6SA
The Brick Lane Gallery, The Annexe |93-95 Sclater Street | London | E1 6HR
+44 (0)207 729 9721
Bingo. The Brick Lane Gallery seems to be precisely the gallery I had in mind. Taken from their site, The Brick Lane Gallery, is:
‘…a contemporary fine art gallery which exhibits an eclectic variety of contemporary art by British as well as international artists from all corners of the world’. That are, ‘dedicated to helping artists achieve success by offering a comprehensive and effective platform to showcase their work in the heart of London’s vibrant and culturally popular district of Brick Lane. We offer a range of services to support artists who are looking to increase their exposure and wish to enrich their exhibition background and experience in the art world’.
Emerging artists are what they’re all about, and thusly, their services are very pandering to the exhibiting amateur; claiming that their, ‘dedicated team take the pressure out of organising your exhibition and manage everything for you…’. You’re an amateur, let us do it for you.
Now, I would classify my work, at least the work I have produced for University, as Fine art. And so my work would marry well with what the gallery is looking for. Furthermore, Photography has a strong showing within current, future and past exhibitions at the gallery. With a reoccurring exhibition (once a month or bi-monthly at times, it seems), that is comprised exclusively of photographic work and entitled, ‘Photography Now’. There are also a number of broad exhibition topics that are open to submissions from all mediums, such as, ‘Portraits’ and ‘Landscape; Rural vs Urban’. Although, from what I can gather, it is possible to have a solo exhibition within the gallery space, it is quite clear that their emphasis is firmly placed on group exhibitions, which makes sense. Emerging artists are likely to have tight budgets, small bodies of work and of course, little experience in exhibiting within a professional gallery context. I feel a lot of emerging artist, as I certainly do, would prefer to exhibit as part of a group, to share the load not only financially, but also in an almost sadistic sense. Safe in the knowledge that your fellow amateurs are probably suffering as much as you are, or perhaps that’s just me.. Any-who, it is nice to be around others in the same boat as you. The Brick Lane Gallery is all about getting your foot in the door, putting your name out there and getting experience under your belt. Even as an agent for networking, with artists and the public-alike, I would imagine it would be an invaluable experience. However, it is not somewhere you should expect to make any money, or sell any of your work. Though of course, this is entirely possible, it would be rather missing the point. This isn’t an opportunity to make a quick buck, think of it more as an investment, that will hopefully one day bare fruit, if nurtured correctly. Having never considered exhibiting in a gallery, simply through ignorance, believing they were all far out of my league, it is very encouraging and inspiring to see such an establishment. Exhibiting as a group with other students at the university, in such a gallery, is a very realistic and achievable prospect and one I’d definitely like to consider and discuss. Location-wise, it is situated near central London, and thus very accessible from my location, considering all the transport links in and around London. Specifically, as it’s name would imply, it sits at 216 Brick Lane, which is very close to shoreditch; which is now a name synonymous with young creative types, and so, it is ideally situated to draw in not only emerging artists, but other young creatives too. And furthermore, I’d imagine that Shoreditch is firmly placed on the radar of art world scouts.
Staving away the eternal night, with their torches and pitchforks, are those who’ve perhaps felt its touch before; other artists. It speaks volumes about the tight-knitted nature of the art community and is very endearing and encouraging to see. Established artists, lending their gallery or studio spaces to emerging artists, either for very cheap or even in some cases, free. These sorts of establishments, in my humble opinion, are the most accessible and affordable options available for emerging artist. They cut out the middle-man and paid employees, and thus, cut the price. Here are a few that I came across in my searches:
Host artist: Yinka Shonibare
Location: Sunbury House, 1 Andrews Road, London, E84QL
Yinka is a British-Nigerian artist who has opened up the ground floor of his warehouse studio that resides alongside Regent’s Canal, London. Taken from an article regarding this space, ‘Guest Projects provides young artists with the opportunity to create and showcase their work, without the financial pressures that often come with producing and exhibiting new work. Time and space are both essential to creative production, yet are often hard to come by. Shonibare’s experiences as a young artist saw him learn this firsthand and inspired him to set up the program’. So, this is a space potentially available to emerging artists, in the heart of London, for completely free. What’s the catch? Well, of course, demand to take advantage of such an opportunity will be very high, and it isn’t a case of first come first serve. In order to exhibit within the space, you are required to submit a proposal for your use of the space, which is then judged and scored by a panel of artists (including Yinka). Top scoring proposals and projects are offered a month’s exhibiting time, to exhibit within a group of other top artists. So, it isn’t a case of applying and waiting on a list, there are no guarantees, but such an opportunity shouldn’t be passed up and I would definitely consider applying for such. Also of note is the fact that the space is open to artists of, ‘any discipline’, and from what I can extract from the information available, there aren’t themes to the exhibitions, and so they are perhaps an eclectic coming together of disciplines and practices. As of March of this year, they also host talks, which are again free, but also subject to the same selection process as exhibition proposals. As with The Brick Lane Gallery, being situated in London, Guest Projects is in a prime location for artists and visitors alike. It is also very easily accessible. So, although as aforementioned, it would be difficult to secure a space within the gallery, I conversely have nothing to lose in trying. I find Yinka’s philosophy behind the program very endearing, and from exhibiting my work as part of past Uni projects, I enjoy exhibiting amongst a group of other artist’s work that doesn’t necessarily dance to the same music as mine. For each piece to stand out in its own right, its own glory. A good plan to set into motion, would be to look at the types of works and installations that have already been and see, if at all, there are any running themes. Despite being open to artists and thus work, ‘of any discipline’, the biases of those judging applications may be decernable through the scrutiny of a large enough sample. Though, I have found online gallery archives to be awfully lacklustre (either being completely absent or sparse in information and void of images), and it being more helpful to scour social media platforms, such as instagram (in searching by location).
Information regarding above image (taken from the accompanying caption on instagram):
‘On Wednesday 8th March The Artist Dining Room supper club is back to celebrate International Women’s Day.
For this very special occasion, Guest Projects will commemorate the life and work of the three internationally celebrated female photographers – Francesca Woodman, Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin. The supper club will celebrate their most iconic works and honour their influence and contribution to the visual arts’.
Host artists: Sam Walker, James Edgar
Location: 49 Staffordshire street, London, SE15 5TJ
Assembly Point is another artist run gallery situated in London that exclusively exhibits the work of emerging artists and recent graduates. What I found of particular interest, however, was its workshop programme and as noted on artsy.com, ‘Their space, a former Methodist Hall with plenty of character, has room for studios and a gallery space, and generates healthy cross-pollination between the two (studio residents appear in group shows with some regularity)’. Now, this sort of set-up could provide a nice gateway into the gallery space… Attending workshops, producing work and networking with the curators as well as the other artists in attendance, would be a fantastic way to build a rapport. I know that I isolate myself far too much for the health of my practice, and so attending workshops could be a great way to get my foot in the door, or perhaps a big toe, with the foot being the exhibition. Assembly Point identifies itself as a contemporary arts gallery, which is again fitting with the type of work I produce. And as with all past galleries, its location in London is prime for artists, the art world, public and travel alike.
Performance is an act of self-abandonment, the dissolution of the ego, of ‘I’, of ‘self’. But it is imperfect, for we are never able to fully realise the character we seek to portray. Rather, we find ourselves in a moment of liminality, of transition. A moment in which we are neither ‘I’ or ‘them’, but instead a mixture of the two. And in such a state, of liminality, the ego becomes malleable and we stand at a threshold between ourselves, or ‘I’, and the very character we attempt to portray, ‘them’. And it is in this state of malleability we peer through the looking glass if you will, we awaken to a world of nonsense, of fantasy, and I speak not only of the one we’ve fantasised. In this way, we allow ourselves a transformation. And in this sense, performance is very similar to what the ancient Greeks referred to as, ‘ekstasis’; to be outside of oneself, a removal to elsewhere. And so there is certainly an ecstasy to performance, in submitting and surrendering ourselves (the ego) to the moment. For months, I struggled to piece together the puzzle, unsure of what it was I was trying to articulate to others through my self-portraiture, it wasn’t clear to me what process they were facilitating and of what worth it had. At a fundamental level, I knew the portraits, characters, ideas and stories I created where manifestations of my neuroticism, of my ‘quaking mess’, as Alan Watts once said. And as anthropologist Ernest Becker said, and I am paraphrasing him here, the images were the product of me, ‘chewing it over (it being my neuroticism) in an objectified way, as an external, active, work project’. But there was something more to the process, for Becker’s description doesn’t strictly imply a process of transformation, rather a process of understanding, of working or sorting through. The process of creating self-portraits, characters, ideas and stories, for me wasn’t just a means of understanding my neuroticism. It was very much a process of transformation, of awakening, and I had failed to fully realise this until I happened across a video regarding something described as the, ‘Mystical experience’. Mystical experiences are experiences with the numinous, the transcendental, that are only achievable through the submission and surrendering of the ego. They are characterised by, among other things, a feeling of cosmic unity, of having seen and experienced something of a deeper veracity something of ultimate truth, the profound and lasting positive change of he/she whom experienced it, by paradoxicality, where contradictions are reconciled… It finally clicked, the self-portraits were facilitating a similar kind of act, with similar characteristics, fundamentally they are acts of transformation, through the submission and surrendering of the ego which is as much to say complete immersion in the here and now, and to paraphrase psychedelic researcher Diana Slattering, such an unshackling from the ego, such immersion in the moment is, ‘a prerequisite for any kind of inner-personal, educational, or transformational experience to transpire’. In these states of undivided attention, we allow the banal to surprise us again, the world feels magical, just as we remember it did in childhood. And when I say magical, what I mean by it is nonsense, for isn’t that what magic is? Nonsensical? Charles Darwin once said, ‘Attention, if sudden and close, graduates into surprise; and this into astonishment; and this into stupefied amazement’. And so when I proclaim through these acts of complete immersion, when we are freed from the ego, and we see the world as complete and utter nonsense, it is not to trivialise it, or to diminish its majesty… Rather the complete opposite. It’s nonsense is its majesty. Why is it we covet and yearn to perceive the world as we did as children? What was it that gave the experience of life such awe and magic? It was its nonsense. Everything was absurd and furthermore surprising in its absurdity. So you see, the nonsense of performance, for me, is an awakening to the nonsense of ‘reality’, for I am reminded they are two of the same. Both complete and utter nonsense, and wonderful in being so. The neurotic creatures that we are, I feel it is of utmost importance we remind ourselves of this every so often, that it is all an act whether conscious or not. The worlds and stories that bestow upon me an immersion of a level in which necessitates the submital and surrendering of the ego in order to be realised, facilitates a spiritual process of transformation, of awakening. And as such it allows me, quacking mess me, to live life a little more incautiously, to throw myself more freely at the going-ons. Safe in the knowledge that its all an act, either way.