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I wrote a short text for Distributed, about the possibility of re-imagining the world in common. Distributed is edited by David Blamey and Brad Haylock for OPENeditions and was launched with a symposium at the Royal College of Art

table

 

 

FREE TRADE
Manchester Art Gallery
May 2002 - February 2003

Commissioned by Catherine Dickinson

I collaborated with Marysia Lewandowska, on a long term research project that was to coincide with the re-opening of the Manchester Art Gallery (MAG). The research culminated with a project entitled Free Trade, the following text is edited from the final proposal.

Free Trade Our starting point was the simple observation that as objects enter public museum and gallery collections they are inevitably removed from the wider world of exchange. Our project was to  imaginatively reconnect a major collection from the MAG - the Beatson Blair Bequest - to the circuits of trade and exchange from which it originated.

We identified in the Beatson Blair Bequest a beautiful example of Manchester’s particular social, economic and art collecting history, as well as a device with which to explore the history and conventions of the MAG itself.

First prototype of a possible chair. It's inspired by Enzo Mari's ideas of being able to make domestic necessities, using stock timber, simple hand tools and everyday skills. There's an echo of Utility furniture from the 1940s and a hint of Gerrit Rietveld's prototype Red and Blue chair from 1917 too.

Chair Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More soon

During the 1990's I was very interested in the idea of collection for making sense of the world. And to be honest I'm still interested, take a look at #ObjectOfTheWeek on twitter.

Display Cases

 

Two images of two Details From the Collection  are reproduced in the catalogue for Pictura Britannica: Art from Britain Sydney, Australia 1997.

Left: African Artifacts, from the collection of Mr & Mrs Winter Salzberg (1995)
Right: Detail from the Collection: Blue private collection, London (1996)

Museum Futures was exhibited as part of I Taste the Future, the 2017 iteration of the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), Norway.

I Taste the Future proposes speculations about the future of the Lofoten archipelago and its surrounding sea. Situated 150 years from now, the Festival draws on science fiction as a model for thinking about futures, rooted in Henningsvær, a village with 460 inhabitants. Historically Henningsvær was the most important fishing village in what still remains one of the world’s largest seasonal fisheries, known primarily for the cod that has been coming to spawn in Lofoten for centuries.

Surrogate was screened as part of Short Bursts of Concentrated Joy

Curated by David Blamey for Houghton, the new three-day art and music festival taking place on the Houghton estate in Norfolk, UK from 10th to 13th August 2017.

was reprinted in BRACES, LEVERS, FETISHES & TALISMANS

 

Side-Issues

 

Twenty years ago, in 1997, I researched and curated a complex multi-site exhibition.....

Collected

26th April - 21 June 1997
Exploring the depth and diversity of the collection...from Egyptian antiquities via 18th century paintings to Marilyn Monroe memorabilia.. at the Photographers Gallery, The British Museum, Habitat, The Royal College of Surgeons, Richard Lowe’s flat, Selfridges, Paul Smith, The Wallace Collection and Sir John Soane’s Museum.

On an individual and national scale we are associated with a bewildering array of clothes, tools, art, bibelot, gifts, cuisine, souvenirs, technology and rubbish. Objects are spilling from every shelf, cupboard, display case, vitrine, supermarket, gallery, shop, museum and land-fill site. Societies are collective, we are defined by evolving methods to classify, structure and direct this material avalanche.

[..] The activity of collecting, perfectly plays out the tension between the drive for order and the tendency towards excess and chaos implicit in our relationships. The collection cuts across all categories of objects, from the almost worthless to the literally priceless. Collected things hold the promise of a coherent space within the profligate material world.

images

XL-1 Kit ChairPre-dawn AngelHelgeEsprit du CheminCat on a hot plastic roof#TransActing stress testing