My first mentoring session with Emma Cocker has been really productive. We had some important conversations and in the coming months I’m going to be reassessing my practice. One of things that came to the fore was that I use an authoritarian language when I talk about my work and wider practice. One of the things I’m craving is a playfulness that used to be present in some of my work but that has somehow been lost along the way. These two things are related. I need to change my ethos towards my practice and nurture it to reintroduce that sense of lightness.
Things to look at:
Badiou – the 15 theses on contemporary art
Foucault – Care of the self
The Critical Engineering Manifesto
Julian Oliver, Gordan Savičić, Danja Vasiliev
On Friday Night Drinks, Workplace Affects in the Age of the Cubicle
The Affect Theory Reader, Melissa Gregg
The groups selected texts led to a long discussion around precarity in the arts, ideas around social and cultural capital, and the blurred lines between ‘work’ and ‘life’ as well as the professional and personal relationships between artists, peers, arts professionals and friends that contribute to the less than clear boundaries that we operate within.
It was particularly interesting how it relates to cultural hegemony and the activities of Girl Gang – we police and modify our own behaviours in order to fit in to cultural norms and in doing so we reproduce them. Girl Gang tries to challenge this self-censorship.
This weekend saw the inaugural Bristol Art Weekender take place across the city. Initiated by Situations, the project was the result of an Open Space event that asked ‘what future do we want for the visual arts in Bristol?’ It joined up all the major spaces with artist-led projects and some individual artist projects to provide a level platform for organisations of varying scale. I was reminded of the dynamic place Bristol has been known to be in the past, but which has been lacking in recent times.
I participated in Spike Open Studios; I’m subletting a little space by myself at the moment and this was a good chance to do something significant on my own. With the MOBAW project potentially in the pipeline – funding permitting – I’ve been thinking a lot lately about museums; the power dynamics at play, the difficulties faced when interpreting and presenting the past and the line between fiction and reality. This is VAULT.