Yesterday Comprised Collaborations – a group exhibition I am part of – opened at Cafe Ollo in Huddersfield Media Centre. The exhibition invited artists to consider the nature of collaboration; it’s bearing on creative processes and consequently, it’s effect on audience perception.
I used the opportunity to develop Speculative Studio Spaces – a project that speculates upon the identity of an artist through a process of fabricating their studio space based on an exhibition piece.
The project is multi-faceted, as pitching a highly personal space such as a studio space into the gaze of the public without the artists’ creative control throws up all sorts of implications: From identity, ownership and authorship to a reflective critique of creative processes. Forcing artists to relinquish control of their processes – and the implications thereof – reveals vulnerability, allowing an audience to connect and establish a relationship with them on a more humane, personal level.
However, with Comprised Collaborations, it was I who relinquished part of the creative process – I had no control over my choice of artist, no control over the medium of the piece and no control over any curatorial technicalities. The result is a piece that, for me personally, possesses at once a sense of familiarity and distance. This runs parallel to the nature of collaboration and as such,allows the audience to consider and reflect upon the nature of negotiating and co-operation.
The artist himself – Jim Geddes – is sadly no longer with us, as such, Speculative Studio Spaces becomes primed with new meaning. That is, the implications of collaborating posthumously. In death, does the tone of Speculative Studio Spaces change? Does it celebrate the artist or does it became a powerful tool for re-aligning history? Or does it sit somewhere in between? And what are the implications? These are questions my work in offers an audience when the connotations of collaborating with an artist posthumously are attached.
All in all, Comprised Collaborations has been rewarding as it has allowed me to assess and evaluate Speculative Studio Spaces differently, thus giving richness and texture to the overall project. For an audience, the multi-faceted nature of the project should reveal something to everyone.
Comprised Collaborations runs from now until 7th September at Café Ollo, Huddersfield Media Centre.
My next Speculative Studio Spaces exhibition will be at BasementArtsProject from 10th – 20th June.