Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Answers... (3)

... from Stijn Van Dorpe.
1. Are there classic 'reading schemes'? Probably, but I think every exhibition develops its own logic and proposes an own way of reading. In the case of Temporary City: what you see is what you get, an exhibition of individual artists that, positioning themselves inside of a construction built by an architect, integrate existing work or develop new work.
2. Two different starting points were used: some people have used the specific context to make work. Of course, the meaning of the work comes from this context. Others have tried to make existing work fit, but by doing so have also took a position towards the structure. For some works of art, it was difficult to find a place in the whole. The conditions were very difficult and dominant. I think the meaning of a work of art is always subject to the place where it is shown - think of the aura that belongs to the architecture of museums. I tend to work with these conditions, to use them, question them. I do think the works of art retain their own meaning. What else would become of them? But of course: what is this original meaning. To me, a work of art is not built up out of meanings, but it generates meanings, and it always falls in-between these meanings. Interesting for me are these works that show themselves, in relation to the construction, from another side. Concerning Temporary City: I think there are succesfull and less succesfull integrations present.
3. I still think an interesting process leads to an interesting result. If not so, an interesting process will become readable in the end result. Of course: this asks a sort of effort from the visitor, like art always does. Some background information is indispensable, like in 90% of the art exhibitions: to get an opening, an entry, not to explain everything. There is also the quality of the different works that determines whether an exhibition is exciting or not. What remains quite unique in the case of Temporary City, is the starting point offered by the architect, Andreas Müller. The exhibition can be read as a collection of positions towards an existing, totally not innocent given, that in itself was already filled with theoretical, social and political aspirations. I could not ignore that. I am also still thinking about an imaginary, probably more clear but maybe not more interesting project, in which every artist makes a work that he uses to position himself towards the existing construction.
1. When you would choose artists based on a theme, you are really acting like an ordinary and non-inspired curator. For me, that is no option for Temporary City. Whether this is possible for an artist, is something that each artist should decide individually.
2. Four walls and a ceiling are sufficient enough for me to make an exhibition - but they are not innocent, although less dominant then a designed operation by an architect. You might call that a shift of power, but on the other hand: the white cube is never neutral. But actually, I don't have much experience with exhibition architecture.
3. I don't believe in new genres. Everything can be interesting, everything can be uninteresting. But Temporary City is a reaction against the suppressed position of the artist. The artist, in order to do his work, needs to depend on all sorts of things: subsidies, commerce, curators, galeries and so on. That is one of the reasons why this initiative needs to be continued. And then we can see when the organisors will also be regarded as curators.

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