Friday, 19 February 2010

The issue of the space

I have been surfing the net for an image of Unit 2 Gallery, the place where we are going to install the show in a few months' time. This is all I have found, which gives absolutely no idea of the space we have to confront with. We popped in the other day to see the present show (which isn't on the website by the way: no updates since April 2009) and found ourselves walking into a narrow and long room, with a glass window and door at the bottom.

The only access is a door behind the University's gates, which are accessible only if you are a student and possess a card. Should you forget your card home more than three times, access will then be denied to you. Habda asked if the front door on the street could be opened, to facilitate people's access, and the answers were: "Yes of course" and "Absolutely no". We still have to find out which is the correct one.

The relationship with the space is quite an interesting point each curator has to consider sooner or later. The artworks can just be traditionally exhibited on the walls, or put in a tight dialogue with the space itself, which can be altered, changed, according to the nature of the show. There seem to be no written rules of display, and I personally do think that sometimes a good setting just comes from a right sensation "in your guts", like some dealers like to say.

Some of us are very interested in the space, especially with the concept of active and inactive. Unit 2 is an exhibition space inside a public building, like a brain in a head, and this already puts it in a peculiar position. Artists who work on the space, investigating it, modifying its perception, have been proposed by Habda. She sent a link today to a very interesting artist, Russel Chater. He works with displays holding nothing, playing with the notion of the Arcade and realizing objects between minimalist, formalist and kitsch aesthetic.

Clementina is really interested in the concept of the maze, and would like to use it as a display device, whereas Francesca took some examples of Theo Vandoesburg 's paintings and showed them to us like they were a map of a space seen from above.

I won't give away what Will is working at, instead, because he may blog it himself. Come on, mate!
As for me...well, I have a very complicated relationship with the space, it's still kind of tough to me and it shouldn't interfere with the artworks too much. Therefore, I am still working on it.

Friday, 12 February 2010

What if a brain scan looked like Abstract Painting?

I knew there must be an artist using such incredible images to make art. Angela Palmer uses her own body to realize her artworks, defying not only privacy matters but also the danger of X-Rays we all are conscious of.
This is one of those things that kick up a fuss, but not, for example, in this article here.

To realize his Self Portrait, Damien Hirst had to flew to Mexico to have his head scanned, because going through this process without any medical reason is against the law. The result is a powerful ready-made, an insight into the artist's head, and you can't help but wonder about what all those streaks of light are.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Voilà nôtre Blog!

Taking notes...

Just to make some history here, we (Habda, Will, Francesca, Clementina and myself) are half-way through our first year as MA Curating the Contemporary students, the first organised by London Metropolitan University and in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery. Yes, we're the guinea pigs. Our main assignment for May 2010 will be to curate and organise a show; so the first thing we thought among others was: "We need a blog."

It's just a perfect way to share images, materials, and ideas that will add to the main core of our work. The first show meeting we had was seasoned with Italian food and hosed with too much wine, but nonetheless some ideas begun to stir. Today we had our second meeting, which was very productive.

First of all, we were thinking about some themes for the show and a very intriguing one was: brainwaves. The brain is a space that contains informations and those informations could be mapped, but the result is like a maze. There's a whole world in here: space, the gallery space seen as active/inactive, time, connections, modern technologies like the internet or the unsolved questions, like those raised in this article here.

Secondly, we might have chosen the title of the show, but we are not going to tell you. Yet. The solution is so much within reach that you'll be baffled.

It is all about perception, in the end. The title of this post, for example, refers to what Claude Monet said to a journalist when he asked, quite sarcastically, where his studio was. Since they were in the open air, our beloved Claude made a gesture and said: "Voilà mon atelier!" Meaning: "This is my studio!"
That simple sentence changed the perception of contemporary art for the years to come.