notes from a meeting, on throwing forth – artists and audiences [day two pt1]

Murtaza Vali Artists & Audiences Photo G Mannes-Abbott

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Murtaza Vali moderated another of the central panels during this March Meeting; Artists and Audiences. One which spoke from the UK, the USA/Dubai, Palestine, Taiwan and Qatar to an audience far more diverse in its locations. Vali spoke of a radical “rethinking of the artwork as a situation that requires an audience to complete it”, something which new media has helped generate as well as being some of its sites. As he said, this raises many issues but “the really big one [is] what is it exactly that we mean by the word audience?” If audience activates the artwork then how does the artist/artwork/institution ‘activate’ the audience? How is theory made new practice?

It’s a tough question which the panel bounced around but didn’t ‘dunk’. Louise Hui-Juan Hsu from the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taiwan, for example, reminded us that the “translator in this case, is beyond the translation of words”. Abed al Ju’beh, who runs the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre in Ramallah, Palestine, spoke of the singularity of his literally captive audience. I’d not seen him since the leaving party at his home in the South-east of England 5-6 years ago when he took up this post. Ramallah is at the heart of a giant open air prison where, he said, the audience comes looking for confirmation of their existence. It’s an audience which the Sakakini reaches out to with a residency programme strictly for local artists. Continue reading “notes from a meeting, on throwing forth – artists and audiences [day two pt1]”

notes from a meeting – on commissioning and reconfiguring risk [day one pt 2]

Hans Ulrich Obrist/Edgeware Road Project London Photo G Mannes-Abbott

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Day One unfolded in celebration of a range of curatorial and cultural risks taken [actual and potential], from large European and North American institutions through more wide-ranging, smaller and artist-led institutional initiatives to a single artist’s practice.

Judith Greer from the SAF gave a bold preface about the events that led to the removal of a piece of work from the Biennial last year swiftly followed by the removal of its Director Jack Persekian. It was a welcome account of what she described as “an extremely difficult time for us” which caused much reflection Continue reading “notes from a meeting – on commissioning and reconfiguring risk [day one pt 2]”