Monthly Archives: September 2014

Sepia Rain

CCW PhD student, Samson Kambalu recently opened his new exhibition, Sepia Rain, at Stevenson Gallery in Johannesburg. Kambalu is currently based at Yale on an AHRC funded research fellowship at the Yale Center for British Art. His PhD examines how Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art is animated by the problematic nature of gift giving in anthropology.

Reflecting on the exhibition, Kambalu said, ‘Sepia Rain, my cinema installation at Stevenson Johannesburg, is made up of 10 projected film “clips” each no more than  a minute long. The short films have been created from my interest in the idea of sovereignty in the Chewa philosophy of excess, “nyau”, and from the Baudelairean idea of the “flaneur” in relation to the general economy in Meshac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary African Art. Gaba resources  ideas for his art by walking the markets and streets of Cotonou, Benin. Following Gaba’s methodology, my “nyau films” begin by walking and approach film-making as an occasion for critical thought and sovereign activities – quirky, playful and often transgressive acts aimed at expressing a radical subjectivity. The films employ the medium of film and the psychogeography of urban areas and their vicinities as catalysts for dramatic self-transformation, where the self is playfully reconceived as part of a larger scheme of things, transcending the limitations and conventions of everyday life. Sepia Rain presents my filmic self-reconceptions within social, political, economic and scientific phenomena of the wider world in an age of globalisation. In these works I draw on references from early film-making experiments, catastrophic histories of the 20th Century, questions of the environment, technology and modern art.’

The exhibition includes a wall installation of ten rules of Nyau film:

Nyau Cinema: Ten Rules
1. Nyau film must be conceived as a clip no longer than a minute.
2. Performance should be spontaneous and site-specific to found architecture, landscape or object.
3. There must always be a conversation between performance and the medium of film.
5. Costume must be from everyday life.
6. Acting must be subtle but otherworldly, transgressive and playful.
7. Editing must be limited to the aesthetics of primitive film and silent cinema.
8. Audio must be used sparingly, otherwise it must be performed live at film screenings.
9. Screening of a Nyau film must be in specially designed cinema booths or improvised cinema installations that complement the spirit of the films.
10. Nyau cinema must encourage active participation from audience.

The short films featured in Sepia Rain at the Stevenson Gallery Johannesburg are part of Bureau, a multi-media project conceived from Kambalu’s reading of aspects of Meschac Gaba’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sepia Rain runs 18 September – 31 October 2014. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and Saturday from 10am to 1pm.

Stevenson Johannesburg, 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein, 2001 Johannesburg, Gauteng

A Good Design?

The new CHELSEA space exhibition A Good Design? showcases a selection of objects from the I.L.E.A. (Inner London Education Authority)/ Camberwell Collection alongside contextual and archival material. The exhibition was curated by CCW PhD student Maria Georgaki in consultation with Daisy McMullan of CHELSEA space. As with each exhibition at the gallery, A Good Design? is accompanied by a publication expanding upon the show. The book contains a foreword by CCW UAL Senior Research Fellow Dr. Linda Sandino and a longer essay about the history of the I.L.E.A./Camberwell Collection by Georgaki.  The book also features images from the Council of Design/ University of Brighton Design Archives, as well as contemporary photographs of a selection of objects from the collection which McMullan took especially for this publication.

Speaking about her work on the exhibition, Georgaki said, ‘One of my research objectives has been to investigate how pedagogies of “good design” were practised through the I.L.E.A./Camberwell Collection. While my research has been mainly in the historical context, A Good Design? was organised to coincide with the new academic year in order to open up the conversation between past experiments in design appreciation and current pedagogies of design and curating, especially as practised at UAL. The I.L.E.A./Camberwell Collection is an endlessly fascinating resource. Only about 100 of its estimated 20,000 items are included in this exhibition. As a design historian, I was drawn to the range and quality of the object in the Collection, the ambitious scope and its origins which can be traced back to state initiatives like The Festival of Britain of 1951. In my eyes the I.L.E.A./Camberwell Collection embodies the optimism of that historical moment in the post-war period when design was embraced as a driving force in British economy and a contributing factor in the improvement of individual lives. The years of the Collection’s circulation in London schools coincided with remarkable social change. I selected objects which trace this change, from the austere modern style of the early 1950s to the advent of pop in the mid-1960s. While the didactic agenda of instigating principles of “good design” on impressionable minds is arguably outdated, in other respects this was a pioneering scheme: as a travelling and handling resource it advanced the benefits of learning through touch at a time when touch in museums was virtually non-existent. The rationale for this show was to showcase one of UAL’s  important but lesser-known resources and to present an example of how research in the discipline of Design History may inform curating practice.’

During the academic year 2013/14, McMullan worked at CHELSEA space as a Research Fellow funded by the Chelsea Arts Club Trust, a Fellowship designed to facilitate in-depth research in curating and exhibitions. This exhibition and book bring together a number of themes and practices that she encountered during the Fellowship, including using collections and archival materials, object handling and producing publications. The exhibition and book also help to establish the new set up at CHELSEA space, which will include the exhibition studio workshop, which is the practice-based strand of Chelsea College of Arts’ MA Curating and Collections course beginning in October 2014.  The I.L.E.A./Camberwell Collection and other collections will form the basis of practical experimentation and research that students will undertake on this course.

The publication is available to purchase from the University of the Arts London E-Store for £5, or directly from CHELSEA space for a special exhibition price of £2.

A Good Design? runs: 10 September – 31 October 2014, with a private view on 7 October, 6-8.30pm. CHELSEA space’s opening hours are Wednesday – Friday, 11am – 5pm or by appointment.

For more information about the exhibition and about CHELSEA space contact [email protected].

 

 

 

 

Death and Dying

Lorrice Douglas, CCW PhD student, recently participated in the exhibition, Death and Dying, curated by David Lillington at MAG3 Project Space in Vienna. Douglas’s research focuses on discreet works and the intricate realm between private and public space.  The terrain is circumvent, made up of components often considered as fragments, sub plots and the everyday.  The project  raises the question to what extent does an audience navigate or experience the incidental,  and how this can be measured within a research context.  What does a sensibility for discretion look or sound like?

Speaking about the exhibition, Douglas said, ‘This September I participated in the group exhibition Death and Dying at MAG3, Vienna. The show follows Dying on Screen which was co-curated by David Lillington and Rosie Cooper at the Wellcome Collection, 2013. As well as showing an early piece of work, I visited the exhibition for my research.  The trip was a precious opportunity to visit the artworks and to discuss them in situ with the audience, artists and curator.  I am intrigued to learn how artworks deal with intimate space and how the audience encounters these works, some of which could be highly emotive.  I am researching what kind of space can exist for artworks which might be considered discreet or intimate and within that, the relation between the artist, the artwork and the audience.  It is this dynamic which is of particular interest to me in my research at UAL.’

Press Release

Death and Dying

Curated by David Lillington, Wednesday 10 – Friday 19 September 2014

Opening: Wednesday 10 September 2014, 19.00; with performances 19.30 by Verena Dürr and 20.00 Roman Gerold

Video Screenings: Thursday 11 September and Wednesday 17 September 20.00

Exhibition: drawing, painting, photography, sculpture

Opening times: Tuesday – Friday 16.00-20.00 and by appointment 00 44 7813 958523 (David, or by text) or +43 (0)676 340 9218 (Gue Schmidt)

MAG3 Projektraum,
Schiffamtsgasse 17, 1020
U-Bahn Schottenring, exit Herminengasse
www.nammkhah.at/Mag3

Death and Dying will consist of two performances, two evening screenings of videos by 13 artists and an exhibition showing work by 30 artists. As early as 1984 sociologist Allan Kellehear wrote, ‘to say that our contemporary societies are “death-denying” has no theoretical or practical explanatory value.’ In 2001 Deborah Boardman, curator of the exhibition Mortal, (University of Chicago) disclosed bravely: ‘in my own life a fear of death compelled me toward art projects that would comfort and assuage it.’ Similarly, Verena Dürr (performing on Wednesday the 10th) has written, ‘my approach is: through the issue of death to examine life.’ Some artists have worked with the subject for years, some respond to specific events, personal or out in the world. Much of the work tends towards theatre. This is a show about art as well as about death, with a huge range of approaches: social, quotidian, bodily; realist, romantic or about the inner voice.

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
        A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Open Studios at Balfron Tower

The Open Studios at Balfron Tower event, organised by Bow Arts as part of Balfron Season, takes place across the weekend of 20-21 September, from 11am-6pm, to coincide with London Open House weekend. Balfron Season is a unique programme of events organised by Bow Arts, situated in and around the Grade II listed Balfron Tower.

Connected by a shared interest in the history and legacy of Balfron Tower, Alan McFetridge, Sinéad Bligh, and CCW PhD student James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous present Flat 15 and Flat 12 of Ernö Goldfinger’s iconic high rise building. It is within this unique situation and space that the artists consider the importance of who has inhabited the building, who is present in the spaces now, and who will utilise this environment in the future. Through a combined presentation, the artists prompt an open discussion of the social, political, economic and personal im­plications of displacement and presence within this particular site and community. Inhabiting two vacated flats that, though mirrored, imply visibly different histories, their interventions open up a space for interaction, discussion and consideration located at the heart of Balfron Tower itself.

Completed in 1967 in Poplar, East London, the 26 storey Modernist structure of Balfron Tower consists of 136 flats and 10 maisonettes designated for habitation by social housing tenants. After being granted Grade II listing in March 1996, ownership was transferred from Tower Hamlets Council to Poplar HARCA Housing Association in 2007. At the start of the transfer process, the building was designated for extensive refurbishment, indicating the beginning of the gradual rehous­ing of the community. In the intervening years Bow Arts Trust has provided work/live spaces for artists at Balfron Tower and managed education, environmental and cultural work in the local community. In 2014 the few remaining residents, and the temporary community of artists and property guardians who have inhabited the Balfron Tower over the past 4 four years, will depart in order to make way for the imminent refurbishment of this iconic building.

Since completing the MA Fine Art course at Chelsea in 2012, James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous have undertaken a self-initiated work/live residency at Balfron Tower in London. Occupying two successive flats as property guardians, James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous have spent the last two years amassing a living archive. At the invitation of Bow Arts Trust and in response to The Sensation of Space1 essays published by Ernö Goldfinger, architect of Balfron Tower, Alan McFetridge, Harriet Cooper, Sinead Bligh, James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous are co-hosting this Open Studios event. This month two comparative selections from the archive are distributed simultaneously from Flat 15 and 12 as free newspapers. The act of publishing what would otherwise remain hidden offers a much needed critique of life as a property guardian in London. Intended to spark debate, this circulation seeks to challenge current legislation and ultimately to affect change in the world. 2014 also witnessed the donation of all the work James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous produced, as well as acquired from other artists over the previous fifteen years. The invisible archive, to which the donation refers, in tandem with the living archive, form the basis for Lander’s practice-based PhD. His current research is motivated by and seeks to reformulate the dynamic between altruism, psychological egoism and the hintergedanke ‘ulterior motive.’2

James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous 2014-2018 PhD Fine Art practice-based candidates Chelsea College of Arts University of the Arts London

Is it 28 pages with a memory / fragment on each page?
James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous
2014-2018
PhD Fine Art practice-based candidates
Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon College of Arts
University of the Arts London

Work by Harriet Cooper

Alan McFetridge
Haymaker (2014)
Inkjet media on self adhesive polypropelene
244 x 540.6 cm

Work by Sinéad Bligh

Sinéad Bligh
Epistemological Maquette (2014)
Toilet bowl, toilet seat, sound piece on MP3 player and headphones; duration 06:59 min looped

1Goldfinger, E. (1941) The Sensation of Space. The Architectural Review, Nov, pp.129-131.

2 Weiss, E. (1995) Pons-Kompaktwörterbuch Englisch – Deutsch. Stuttgart: Klett Verlag für Wissen und Bildung. p.214

Up Hill Down Hall at Tate Modern

Professors in TrAIN and joint University Chairs of Black Art and Design, Sonia Boyce and Paul Goodwin, in collaboration with Senior Lecturer Anne Eggebert and Pathway Leader Stephen Carter of the BA Fine Art XD Pathway at Central Saint Martins, recently completed a project with Fine Art students from CSM. Students and staff worked in collaboration with independent curator Claire Tancons to produce The Sky is Dancing, an action which engaged the central spaces of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall as part of Tancons’ Up Hill Down Hall: An indoor carnival, a new performance commission that offered critical and artistic perspectives on Carnival. The students from the XD Pathway at CSM also worked with the commissioned artists for Up Hill Down Hall to assist in the production of works for the performances as well as creating works themselves.  The Sky is Dancing was been inspired by extensive student research into the socio-political history of the Notting Hill Carnival and the politics of space and location. Their interventions responded to wider critical debates about public art and ceremonial practices that have influenced and been influenced by Carnival as a cultural and artistic form. The students produced over 2,000 paper helicopters that spun through the air, each one linking an artwork to their website.

Carter spoke about the collaboration, saying, ‘In various ways [the students] were able to contribute to the project – by helping a commissioned artist, by helping with the preparation and staging of the event, by developing their own project (individually and in collaboration). The event at the Turbine Hall on Saturday 23 August was the culmination of research, site visits, discussion and tests and was an amazing experience for all concerned. It is not too much to say that it was a life-changing and empowering experience.

The project has not ended there. We are continuing to have regular weekly sessions to reflect on the experience and to plan ahead, to continue to discuss the significance of carnival and its place within current art discourse. There will be a display in a vitrine at CSM Kings X set up from 17 September 2014 for one month. This will make the project known to the wider CSM community of students and staff. There will also be a Curating Carnival event staged in “The Street” at CSM in January 2015. The collaboration of the various participants – from Claire Tancons through to the commissioned artists, to the Tate team, to the UAL professors and CSM staff and students has been marked by amazing energy, enthusiasm, generosity and creativity.’

Speaking about their role as joint Chairs of Black Art and Design, Boyce said, ‘It’s about building on the huge knowledge base around Black Art and Design practices that already exists within and across UAL. The main ambition is for the wider discussions and practices around Black Art and Design to become commonplace within the learning environment. We see our role as facilitators, to bring artists, curators, thinkers and practices into the everyday mix of the cultural life here at UAL.’

The event was documented with a short film of the performance as well as an article in The Guardian mentioning the students’ involvement in helping the artists, while Catherine Wood, Curator Contemporary Art and Performance at Tate, said of The Sky is Dancing, ‘It was one of my favourite ever moments in the Turbine Hall. It worked really beautifully with the setting, the crowd and the music, transforming the whole atmosphere temporarily.’ The event was also reviewed in ARC Magazine.

The Graduate School, at this moment

At a recent Twitter masterclass that I, Claire, attended, I was reminded that social media is a personal thing. Prospective students and staff, current students and staff, passers-by interested in arts research may read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and visit our website to find out what is happening in CCW Graduate School. We have to show that we are real people, not robots selling a product. The advice in the masterclass? Let people into the inner workings, show the things that happen day to day. I may not normally report this kind of thing, but if you’re wanting a warts-and-all glimpse of the Graduate School, these images may be interesting. So, here are some of the things happening in the Graduate School.

There is now a cable linking the desktop to the plasma screen in E305.

Here is the new cable linking the desktop to the plasma screen in E305.

Today's chilli report: 2x ripe, 1x ripening, 14x not there yet.

Today’s chilli report: 2x ripe, 1x ripening, 14x not there yet.

Michael Asbury has the most post waiting for him.

Michael Asbury has the most post waiting for him.

I accidentally ordered 60 mailing tubes instead of 10.

I accidentally ordered 60 mailing tubes instead of 10. The rest are in boxes in the back of the cupboard.

Tom and Jim are holding the fort in the student baseroom.

Tom and Jim are holding the fort in the research student baseroom.

Passport to Pimlico: May Day Art Day in Churchill Gardens Estate

Passport to Pimlico: May Day Art Day in Churchill Gardens Estate has now been published and is available to view as an ebook and print on-demand (ISBN: 978-1-908339-13-3).

The publication documents a one-day collaborative art event, held on 5 May 2014 in Pimlico’s largest housing estate, featured over 60 artists. The event and the publication were created by first year CCW PhD student Lana Locke, supported by CCW Student Initiative funding.

Elaborating on the background to the event, Locke says:

‘The title Passport to Pimlico came from the 1949 Ealing comedy of the same name, in which residents of Pimlico find an ancient document which allows them to declare themselves independent from the rest of Great Britain, its laws and governance.

Following the themes of the film, the intention of the Passport to Pimlico event was to offer participants, residents and visitors an ideal of freedom through the creation of an independent art state within the community. It also presented an opportunity for us as art practitioners and researchers to consider what rules and regulations we should seek to resist, within the context of art practice, research and education.

Held on the May Day Bank Holiday, I invited content that referenced both traditional (spring/pagan) and political May Day themes to reflect that. I saw within these twin threads further layers of meaning about community rebellion and the celebration of the eruption of spring following the sterility and containment of winter.

The “initiative” was a gift. I make sculptures and installations using found objects and appropriated spaces. In a similar way I was very lucky to find and appropriate the funding, location and collaborators for this event. I deliberately described myself as the event “creator” rather than “curator” as I wanted the work to happen as freely as possible on the day. It grew organically through the artists understanding the idea, generously getting involved and bringing others in, too – whether current students, alumni, tutors or invited external artists.

This generosity expanded to the location: Team Churchill in Churchill Gardens Estate allowed us to take over for free a public square and community hall within the largest housing estate in Pimlico; the adults and children visiting the event saw, heard, tasted and experienced everything for free; the activity of art allowed the local participants a freedom beyond the usual remit of the Hall and Square, and the Hall and Square allowed the artists a freedom beyond the usual remit of their practice.’

UKIERI Thematic Partnership at Wimbledon College of Art

The works realised during the March 2014 UKIERI Thematic Partnership workshop in Hyderabad will be on view in the main building of Wimbledon College of Art until 12 September 2014. These works are the result of a joint research project between Wimbledon College of Arts and the University of Hyderabad exploring The Means of Performance in the Digital Age. Jane Collins, Simon Betts and Douglas O’Connell from Wimbledon, together with CCW PhD students Jenny Wright and Vanessa Saraceno, collaborated with students at the Fine Arts and Theatre departments of the S. N. School of Art and Communication of Hyderabad.

The UKIERI thematic partnership investigates the impact of ‘new media’ on performance in India and the UK, bringing together two recognised centres of excellence to create a cross-cultural research platform at the inter-face of fine art and theatre. Using the ‘scenographic’ as a frame of reference, a broad term that encompasses all the elements that contribute to the composition of performance, this joint research compares how digitalisation and electronic media have been absorbed into our respective performance cultures.

ukieri 2-2

Find out more about the UKIERI Thematic Partnership.

John Hilliard: Not Black and White

Duncan Wooldridge, Course Director for BA Photography at Camberwell, curated the current show, John Hilliard: Not Black and White, at Richard Saltoun Gallery. Speaking about the experience, Woodridge says, ‘This project is the result of a long running dialogue between John Hilliard and myself, and concerns the re-emphasizing of Hilliard’s formally inventive approach to photographic image making.  At the centre of this project is a concern with abstraction, pictorial interruption, and the monochrome.  As photography has moved to become more and more concerned with photographic abstraction, Hilliard’s role becomes more and more central. Within photography, abstraction is the challenge to assumptions of photographic indexicality and representability, and marks a turning away from a concern with functionality, towards experimentation and an expanding out of photography’s perceived limits. Tracing work across 45 years of practice, the earliest work from 1969, and the most recent from 2013, the rigour of John’s practice is made evident in its recurring call to the emptying out of the picture, and to the specific possible conditions of photographic monochromy, which begin in the 1960s, alongside what Benjamin H.D. Buchloh has called the “diagrammatic abstraction” of the era, and become George Baker’s “culture of abstraction” in the present.’

Press release:

John Hilliard: Not Black and White

Curated by Duncan Wooldridge

Exhibition dates:  5 September – 9 October, 2014 (PV 4thSeptember, 6 – 8 pm)

Richard Saltoun Gallery announces a solo exhibition of British conceptual artist John Hilliard, curated by artist and writer Duncan Wooldridge.

This is the first solo exhibition of John Hilliard in the UK since 2000, and the first in any context to draw out a long recurring motif: the puncturing and interruptive monochrome at the centre of many of his works. The exhibition will present key artworks spanning forty years of his practice.

Hilliard’s time  as  a  sculpture  student  at  St.  Martin’s  School  of  Art  exposed  him  to  a  new  pedagogy  that  favoured the  idea over the object. Students were asked to document all stages of their work, creating a visual overview of their artistic process, a project that influenced the trajectory of his career. Hilliard began by making site-specific installations in 1966, always documenting the installation with a photograph, eventually displacing the installation with the photograph itself. He first exhibited in 1969 at the Camden Arts Centre and these works have come to form the backbone of his practice.

Through his career he has continued to question the reliability of the photograph to represent the object or subject photographed. Hilliard has explored this through a recurring call to abstraction, allowing the camera to distort and affect what it sees through selective cropping, focus and exposure. He has displaced the perceived subject with expanses of monochrome comprising available objects – studio backdrops, walls, and projector screens. More recent works, such as 1, 2, 3 (2004) distort and abstract the image through more technical means: multiple exposures, perspectives, and colours, all of which interrupt the pictorial representation of the photographed subject and space. These works see Hilliard continuing to work with the full possibilities of making work with the camera and photographic image, incorporating installation and painting, to a new process of drawing with the digital files of his previous works.

This exhibition firmly places Hilliard as one of the foremost and innovative photo–‐conceptual artists working today. The exhibition will be accompanied by a monograph, John Hilliard: Not Black and White, published by Ridinghouse, London.

John HILLIARD (b. 1945 -) Studied sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art, 1964–‐7, and has taught at art schools in London (Camberwell, Chelsea and the Slade) and Holland (Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam). His work is in collections including the Tate Gallery, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Solo exhibitions in museums include Kunstverein, Hanover, 1997, Kunstverein Stuttgart, 1999 and Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna, 2000.

Curator: Duncan Wooldridge Duncan Wooldridge is an artist, writer and curator. He curated the exhibition Anti–Photography at Focal Point Gallery in 2011, and writes for Art Monthly, Source, Elephant, Photoworks, and Eikon magazines. He is the Course Director of the BA (Hons) Photography at Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts London.

Exhibition and sales inquiries: email [email protected]

Press Information: email [email protected] or [email protected].

Visitor Information: Richard Saltoun, 111 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 6RY

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7637 1225

Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm or by appointment

Nearest tube: Oxford Circus and Great Portland Street

We know what we like and we like what we know

Trish Scott, 3rd year CCW PhD student, and Dan Scott, 3rd year LCC PhD student with CriSAP, have just reached the end of an Ideas Test funded collaboration entitled We know what we like and we like what we know, an experimental public art project working with individual households to explore the dynamics of art production and reception in domestic space.

WKWWL1

Bringing together their research interests on dialogical encounters and the archive (Trish) and artistic listening strategies (Dan) the project involved setting up a situation in which three households in Swale, Kent selected and co-commissioned a contemporary artist to make a bespoke work for their home. Participating households were Tracy & Chris Smith, Rowan & Luke Atkins and Judy van Laar. Participating artists, selected by housholders from an open call, were Alicja Rogalska, Alastair Levy and Rosalie Schweiker. The production process was underpinned by constant discussion and negotiation, with artists responding to residents own interests and ideas on art. In bringing artists, and (non) audiences together in this way Scott and Scott used a dialogical approach to explore ideas around art and taste, mediated via the making of particular works.

As well as unearthing opinions and building understanding between artists and specific audiences, the project tested an alternative model of artistic production and validation. Whereas in much contemporary art audiences are consumers of artistic output, in We know what we like and we like what we know audiences were simultanesouly the project’s commissioners and curators. Furthemore, in shifting the locus of work from the gallery to the home, and working with participants who had expressed dis-interest in and/or alienation from contemporary art, the project challenged the conventional channels of art production and reception offering a unique critique of the mainstream art world from the perspective of those outside it.

We know what we like and we like what we know builds on works such as Colin Painter’s Close Encounters of the Art Kind (2002), Walker & Bromwich’s The Art Lending Library (2012) and Contemporary Art Society North’s Art in the home (2013). However, rather than being about existing artworks and/or existing art audiences the project involved the creation of new work for the home as “directed” by homeowners themselves. Whilst contemporary art has long been present in the home of wealthy collectors this project tested an alternative model of commissioning, predicated on very different economic principles to those usually at work in the art market, generating encounters unlikely to otherwise occur.

As well as the three artworks produced, the process was documented by Scott and Scott resulting in a publication launched during the Whitstable Biennale in June 2014, and three audio documents most recently broadcast by BRFM Community Radio in Sheppey in August 2014.

Trish Scott said: “Dan and I live in Swale, Kent, which supposedly has one of the lowest rates of involvement in the arts countrywide. Part of our motivation in undertaking this project was to get under the rhetoric (often expressed in terms of numbers and categories) characterising discourse on engagement in the arts and the widening participation agenda. We wanted to see what the impact of setting up a direct interface between artists and (non) audiences would be, and what this would reveal about residents’ interests in art and artists’ ability to adapt their work to meet specific requirements, thereby exploring the issue of “engagement” both qualitatively and through practice. We were interested in how works could be “listened” into existence and how the conversations occuring could be documented, in their full complexity, for a secondary audience. We weren’t trying to do away with the notion of “audience” as some collaborative art forms do, but experiment with creating audience-led work. The project operates at different levels and for different audiences, and we’re hoping to develop it further in the future, testing out this model in other contexts.”

WKWWL3

Trish went on to say, “This is the latest in a number of projects I’ve been working on which entail setting up particular situational encounters and conversations as material for artwork. My PhD examines the intersection of events, documents and archives with a particular focus on the tension between the “archive” and the “repertoire” (Diana Taylor) and how performative processes “remain” over time and are encountered by secondary audiences.”

Full details of the project and its outcomes can be found on the We know what we like (and we like what we know) website.