The concept behind A Letter in Mind was for artists to create small works and donate them to the National Brain Appeal. These pieces were available for purchase, with all £80 of the sale going to the charity.
This evening, the Talbot Rice Gallery hosted a public discussion on the artist Bruce Naumen, as part of the Artist Rooms Cafe des Artistes. Ruth Burgon gave an initial summary of Naumen’s work, in particular his affinity for breaking the rules and challenging the institution. This was followed by an interpretation of his performative work and within this his need for control, by Dr. Catherine Spencer.
This image was put on screen and we were asked to talk amongst ourselves addressing questions such as;
Is Naumen being sincere/should we take this seriously?
and What is an artists duty?
I was very uncomfortable.
Lada Wilson and I started collaborating in early 2013, with the interAction(s) project. More recently we have begun to correspond via typewritten text through the post. We hope to engage in performative live-writing at the upcoming Studio Jamming Symposium in Dundee on the 25th of July.
Here we will engage in performative live writing in the space with our typewriters. There will be no spoken words and the only exchange will be through the pounding of keys and the resulting text.
I anticipate this performance will be very loud with the exchange being heavily scored by the clickclickpings of our old ‘writers.
Although we don’t want an online record of this project, as it is very process based, I will probably record my own thoughts and workings here.
This is hilarious.
And this is excruciating.
I was working at the Kelvingrove today with G.I.
My contemplations for the day were decided at 10.39 this morning, when the first visitor approached Simon Martin’s work.
The elderly gentleman, who was accompanied by his young grandson, asked me to explain it to him.
Having learned more about the work, I launched in:
(Man in bold.)
The Kelvingrove dates back to the Victorian era, when it held a very dry presentation of objects. Today it boasts a remarkably bizarre curatorial approach. In an attempt at a more socially engaging display, modern and everyday objects are dispersed among the historical relics. One can see an African votice doll displayed next to a 21st century packet of lemsip. These two objects are linked by their attributes denoting healing and medicine. The lemsip is a recognisable object and therefore allows accessibility to its partnered relic.
Simon Martin acknowledges this strange curation in his ‘Untitled’ work and inserts the everyday–
“But he’s just gone and placed a lemon over that nice image of an African sculpture. Now I can’t see the image!”
I spent a significant amount of time watching Simon Martin’s Untitled film commission for GI at the Kelvingrove.
He has three screens situated throughout the museum. These little pockets of contemporary art amongst displays of taxidermy and historical culture are intriguing and run parallel with the content of the film.
Martin’s video shows books pages of archival objects such as Greek sculptures and artefacts. Apples, lemons, cigarettes, a frog a and a funnel are placed onto the page of the book, distorting the images underneath. Every so often a hand will tweak the apple as if satisfying a compositional mispositioning.
And it speaks so subtly and yet loudly of the often irrational nature of personal collections, the assignation of value, and the relevance of context.
I’m currently working with Glasgow International Festival.
This runs 4th – 21st of April, inhabiting a multitude of venues city wide.
Today I was at the Gallery of Modern Art, where Sue Tompkins and Aleksandra Domanović are showing.
Gallery 1 of GoMA is such a daunting space. And Karla Black set the bar pretty high at GI 2012. But Domanović steps up to the challenge. Large sheets of acetate fill the four pillared corners of the gallery. The artists sci-fi based images and the creation of layered transparency play with the conversely ornate fixtures of the gallery. The piece is pretty immersive if you let yourself get immersed.
(Yes, that’s me.)
At the back of the hall (after peeling back each layer to walk through) there is a copy of a letter dated 1938. It is from Walt Disney Productions. The letter is a rejection letter to an application for employment as animator. The applicant is female, this is explicitly detailed as the reason for the rejection. The other images evoke strong links to sci-fi films and female roles within them.
The best part about my day though? The look of rebellious glee when a visitor is told, “Yes you can touch the artwork.” Rebellion seems misplaced, because I’m still instructing them to do so… the politics of the gallery…