Friday, 25 June 2010

SybinQ Art Projects is born

Martin Westwood, Flat-field, 2010
Laminated print on window glazing
4 panels, dimensions variable.

Courtesy: The Artist and SybinQ Art Project
I wanted to write a post about exhibiting in a window.

The exhibition finishes in two days and I have been feeling that weird sensation of melancholy for the whole week. Being a curator can't really get so personal, but I guess it's normal: you always work on temporary projects, the shows, which are set up and then dismantled. If you do a good job, they will be remembered, mentioned, and inspire people for... ever
Well, at least for a very long time.

I'd like to talk plainly about The Bay Window Project now, beyond the academism of the press release. First of all, the idea was inspired by my Mum. She is not that into art, but likes to gaze-peep into other people's windows at night, when the curtains are slightly open and you can catch a glimpse of what's going on in a house different from yours. Something unavoidable, that is, curiosity. An invading tool, that makes you call yourself a voyeur with all the wrong connotations this term implies. 

But, in fact, minding people's business is licit if done through the media: the Big Brother on TV, all sorts of video on You Tube, not to mention that I am living in the most surveyed country in the world, a nation under CCTVs. The present show at Tate Modern, Exposed, is just about this. It is interesting to see what happens, instead, when the gaze is free to wonder in an urban environment. Usually the mind is blinded by personal thoughts, which make it difficult to actually register disruptions in the ordinary layout of buildings, shops, advertising signs, and so on.

This is where The Bay Window places itself, attempting to attract the passer-by gaze.
Documenting curiosity, in this case, becomes difficult. I have been observing people strolling along the street and hardly anyone is aware of their surroundings. Moreover, of the very few ones who might have raised their chin, spotted the window, and understood that they weren't looking at blinds, I know nothing of their thoughts. I would really like to hear opinions, to have crits. From "interesting" to "why would this interest me?" Art breeds on discussion, and I feel that this project, still at its embryonal state, needs some feedback.

The opening saw thirty people coming and it was nice chatting with them and hearing their impressions. I had a black notebook for the purpose, which collected, in total, two comments: one was raising an health and safety issue, the other was, simply, "Amazing project. You inspire people."

I shall add, at the end, that a new peculiar exhibition space is born: SybinQ Art Projects.
For now, it's in the Bay Window. But being not a gallery space, it can change place.

Note to the picture: since I do not have a camera with the wide angle lens, this is the result of sticking two pictures together. And yes, I took the inspiration from Digby's work, to whom I apologise for the poor result.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The (late) Events

All is left of the show is the orange vinyl on the door, that we forgot to remove. 

Russel Charter's installation next to it, that was blocking the view from outside, is gone too, leaving place to an exceptionally shiny window. Dylan Shipton's structure was dismantled piece by piece, several of which were just thrown away. All the other framed works, including the huge Odyssey panel, are bubble-wrapped and awaiting collection.
The plinths we recycled from the room in the basement came back to their place, one painted black, another pierced in various points with a drill in order to let some cables passing through. 
Dust, screws, plaster and a hammer.
Fresh white paint on the walls and on some tape, to try and conceal the drilled holes on the plinth.

After the hard work, nothing remains but pictures, and some mention here and there. For example, let's remember the Events before the memory fades away (musica, Maestro!)

First of all, a big thank you to Digby Washer for having taken these glorious pictures.

Digby likes to construct the picture by assembling different frames, creating elements of surprise and displacement. In this picure, Cesare Pietroiusti was just starting his talk about The Artist and the Given Space. He told us about his different experiences, as an artist, of trying to go beyond the wall, like for example when he worked for three hours to demolish a wall in a cellar during an art event in Rome. 
He though he would have found a passage to go to a garden on the other side and ended up in a private loo, instead. Behind the wall, there stood another one. Back to the talk, people interacted with him (which, in fact, is one of the points of his practice) making questions, and everyone seemed to have had a good time. We were very pleased to see, among the public, Whitechapel Gallery's director Iwona Blazwick and Documenta's curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

The cream of the crop was, in the end, to finally see the performance Dancing on Kelkulè devised by artist Sophie Vent

Sophie was introduced to the show by Will and Clementina gave a description of her work in the handouts: "Dancing on Kelkulè is a live performance of the B-Endorphin molecule translated through dance. The translation derives from the chemical structure of the molecule; the skeletal diagram is re-built and represented as a physical form, translating the language and symbols of the diagram into a new system of interpretation. Vent worked alongside choreographer Jummy Bolanji & Child of Zion dance group for a new language growing up from the molecular shapes, physical properties and Kekulè's Laws."

Art and Science. Again.
So, how does a molecule behave then? It jumps, up and down. It changes direction quite suddenly, it tries to mingle with the other ones without succeeding. It wears quite a serious face, it knows what its job is and can't get distracted. What does it transmits? Energy. Pure energy.

To conclude with Thank Yous, hail to the participating dancers and their coreographer: Arinthia, Jummy Bolaji, Ta’Shanh Clarke, Jaigh Ejakpovi, Davida John, Abraham Kanu, Santhy Sivananthan.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Coming Soon...

The academic year at University is now finished.
The first term passed as fast as light, I think we are realising it now after the rush, struggle, and of course concentration into finishing our assignments.

I am now working on something opening in two days.

It's a show of course, but with different parameters: it's called The Bay Window Project.

It's time to use this blog again!