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I had another art-visit! Ben Cove came – the artist whose piece Trans impressed me at last year’s ZAP Open (see post # 36). As it happens our work crossed paths/shared a wall at Peering Sideways – Welcome to the Real World at Project Space Leeds in 2011, and now we have met too, talked about our art, old and new ideas, our dislike of labels. I’m craving face to face art-conversations and enjoyed this one very much.

I told Ben about a grievance of mine and thought I’d raise it here too, find out what you think, what your experiences are. Last year I was contacted by an artist/curator who had found my work on axisweb and invited me to contribute to a small exhibition, which I was happy to do. As it was clear at the time that I wouldn’t be able to travel up north I explained my circumstances and asked right away if it was possible to have my work photographed in situ, just snaps really, so I could see how it was put up and get a sense of the show from afar. This was promised to me. When one curator handed over to another I made the same request, and as previously, was told that would be no problem at all. Suffice to say that no images of any kind were sent, although I very politely asked again while the show was up (it’s over now). My last e-mail didn’t even receive an answer.

Is this normal? I would have thought that in the age of digital photography it would be an easy thing to provide.

Actually, when Peering Sideways was on, Anne Cunningham from the Arthouse sent me greetings and photos with her mobile right from the private view, at which I desperately wanted to be present. It made me happy, and I felt connected. Later I received (as did the other artists) a CD with photos from the exhibition.

So did I ask too much? What is delivered with such grace and matter-of-courseness by Anne or Rosalind Davis of ZAP, – thoughtful attempts to include an artist who for whatever reason cannot participate in person – shouldn’t that be part of the relationship between curator/gallerist and artists in general? (And doesn’t it apply to us all – I can’t imagine that everybody manages to travel to every exhibition they are part of.) I was left feeling as if I wanted something that is completely over the top, beyond what would ‘normally’ be expected, and wonder what is and what should be part of said ‘relationship’ in the loosest sense within the framework of an exhibition. What about feedback (I haven’t dared ask)? What about the opportunity to learn from how one’s work engages with other pieces, and with an audience? Is there something like best practice?