I’ve been focusing a lot this week on organising my worker submission and also on researching and drafting my 1000-word research report proposal. I think I’ve decided that I want to write about Fried’s analysis of the Tableau in modern works, thinking about how a very dated concept is relevant to my practice in particular. I think on a personal level its better for me to look at a very specific topic like this because it allows me to go into a lot of detail – I think my last essay remained quite vague because I chose a very broad topic to write about.
Also this week was a collaborative exhibition at Firstsite in Colchester. I was excited to exhibit my work in a space outside of university, and was planning on taking my 2 large projection paintings as well as my projector to play around with composition in a large space. However because of a communication issue my work was not transported to the site, and I had to start on a new piece in-situ. Initially I was very frustrated because I’d planned to move the works around in the space and have some sort of finalised outcome, but then realised that it was a good opportunity to work in the space and to have the work as semi-performative.
The space itself really helped me out a lot – there were 3 different coloured lights which changed throughout the day and made the projection appear differently on the wall. One problem I did encounter was keeping the light low enough to work on my piece, but also bright enough for others to have their work in the same room without it looking washed out – a nice compromise was having the coloured lights change and blinds be opened and closed as needed. It was quite organic, although I think it would have been good to have at some point come together as a group to discuss not only people’s individual placements of work but the exhibition as a whole. It did feel quite disjointed, and because there was consistently work going on in the rooms, the public were perhaps discouraged from entering the space. It would have been worthwhile not only putting up signs but having some individuals actually approach and encourage the gallery’s visitors, as it was a shame not having anyone actually see my work than people from the university. It sort of counteracted the idea of the work travelling off-site, I think.
As a group we did have some discussions early on about the name of the exhibition (there was a lot of debate!), however we didn’t really sit down and discuss the exhibition as a collaborative exercise. For this reason it felt as though everyone was out for themselves really, it was more about individual works in the space rather than us as a group of collaborators. Perhaps part of the problem was that there wasn’t a lot of direction from staff and I don’t think any of us knew what was going to happen on the day and if it would be more staff-led or independent. I think in future group exhibitions I’ll try to be a bit more vocal, and voice concerns like this before the activity.