Summary of C.E.P 2 Project London

With our first meeting as a group we decided that we would try and keep the brief open as possible so that we could attract proposals. We uploaded our brief to the Curator Space website, but after a week we had no response so I emailed Goldsmith and UAL Fine art courses to try and get an artist. With still no response we met up as a group just before the Easter break to try and re do our brief to make it more exciting so that artists would want to participate in the project.

 

Looking at curatorial modes in the form on interventions we based our next brief on the film ‘The Five Obstructions’ (2003) by Lars Von Trier and Jorgen Leth. The principle idea of the film is that Lars Von Trier created a challenge for Jorgen Leth, and gives Leth the task of remaking the film ‘The Perfect Human’ (1967) five times, each time with a different “obstruction” (or obstacle) imposed by himself. So by using this reference we decided our new brief should follow the same challenge. An artist to give instructions for the whole group which created an obstruction/ obstacle in London. The outline for the new brief stated that the artist should submit a proposal for a group of five people to intervene in a location in London or a Institution space in which a performance lasting a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 1 hour would take place.

 

My role within in the group started with contacting artist as also listing our groups brief on websites where artists could respond to the brief. This was a hard task because finding artists who wanted to respond to the brief as there was no funding attached and also the documentation would not be in a public venue ie. London gallery. But after finding the website I-Send-You-This I started to receive proposals from artists all around the world. Some were not feasible as in the case of the artist Riccardo Attanasio who wanted us to cover his costs of flying from his home is South Africa so his proposal could not be used. Another artist wanted to make us form a protest or others wanted quite a lot of money if we used their proposal. In the end the artist Beth Ross submitted a brief which proposed for the group to go to Tate Modern and create a intervention where we would be wearing lab coats to simulate the canvas of a painting and have tags/ badges on saying different statements for each participant. Then to interact with the public getting them to take a tag from us to create a social network which then would be the piece.

 

As a group we decided that this brief would be the most practical to do in the timeframe we had left and started making plans on how we could make the proposal from Beth Ross happen. To start all five of us wanted to be part of the performance and with this in mind we started collaborating about which statements we wanted to be written on the tags/ badges. Also as a group we decided that big package tags would have more impact than small badges as we could write bigger statements on the tags where as on the badges only a maximum of 2 words could be said. While looking for the package tags we had a decision to make we could go with the bland and normal white tags or make a bold statement with florescent orange which would stand out on the blue lab coat and would attract more members of the public to interact with our intervention. A curatorial aspect we also decided on was that the finish had to be of a good quality so instead of hand writing the statements we used letterset to create a professional finish. The statements as a group we decided on were a mixture of political statements and statements which were funny so that we could create interaction with the public. A few examples of the statements are: ‘I like exotic fruit’, ‘I am the perfect human’, ‘£9k for what’, ‘art who gets it’ and ‘the force is strong with this one’. Using a mixture of funny statements and ones which mean things to the group gave the project a serious but funny side too.

 

The happening in London at the Tate Modern was very successful. At first our intentions were to walk around the turbine hall and interact with people inside the gallery space. Unfortunately when we arrived the turbine hall was shut for maintenance so we had to change our plan and use the outside of the Tate on the South Bank and also interact in the corridors and shop inside the Tate. Walking around in the lab coats was a very different experience for me but after a slow start we started interacting with the public by standing in positions where they had to walk past us and some people interacted.

 

Using ourselves as the intervention in the space links back to the film ‘The Five Obstructions’ where Lars Von Trier gave instructions for Jorgen Leth to carry out. This project developed on this theme as we were interacting with the viewer. My role in finding and working with the artist to create a brief which could link back to the film but also relate to the contextual elements was successful and as a group we all worked as a team in the short period of time we had to create an effective outcome. The work documentation and also the interaction from the public became the work and the artist, Beth Ross, was pleased with the outcome we created.

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