Due to work commitments, I missed Les Bicknell’s lecture about exhibiting, but was lucky enough to be able to see Alison’s great notes, and to read the slides from his lecture. The essence of which is that there is SO MUCH to think about; and clearly so much to decide in terms of where we position ourselves both as artists in general, and within this specific testing-your-boundaries task.
This is not necessarily easy to follow. I initially started by drawing flow diagrams illustrating the concept of where I am in relationship to other elements of making art. It was easy to assume that I am the starting point (where the idea is initiated), the object is the product created and this is then presented to the audience. Then I began to think about my current plans which involve a more interactive, performance style of work and asked a lot of additional questions. There are many more things to consider than questions answered, although I am pleased to have made some decisions in regard to what I absolutely WANT and DO NOT WANT. For example, it feels less important to me at this stage to consider exposure or fame as a ‘perception of success‘, when the ideas I am working with involve collaboration with small groups creating live performance: focusing on the experience of being involved in Art, rather than creating a product to be owned. Ultimately other parts of my practice are deeply embedded in a culture of ownership and the privileged position of those who can afford luxury items such as original paintings. But this TYB unit is not. It is different: it has to be and it is important that I use it as an opportunity to see how far I can push myself out of my comfort zone.
I watched this interview with Jessica Morgan and Jens Hoffman talking about Curating and it helped me to think about some of the issues surrounding the decision process in terms of how one presents their work – if they do so with any sense of control (e.g artist led/open studios etc). Notions of legacy, permanency, value judgement, identity, the ‘vocabulary of a collection’, and what needs are met by an exhibition: all of these are currently invading my thoughts and causing me to gaze pensively out of the window with a thousand different possibilities running through my mind.
In this moment I realize that if the opportunities are almost endless, and my perception of success is not rooted in fame, or associated with excessive value: I must be one of the luckiest artists ever to have lived. I mean, that is the reality. It’s a pretty epic one too.