Saturday, 13 October 2012

Mail Art Exhibition

Here's my mail art piece exhibited in the Empty Shop space in Lincoln as part of the Mail Art Exhibition. Further images of other work and the exhibition are here 

I'm going to post here of my experiences curating this. I organised the show to open on Tuesday, with a private view on Friday from 12.00p.m. This was because I had planned to have this on show for most of October, but have in fact been besieged by a cold, so I haven't been on top of things. And I've had to do this by myself with no help from anyone else.
The reason I set up the LAN was to keep working with a group of other artists as a mutually supportive group, however, I often end up doing most of the work myself these days, since I have less support than I did when I set it up.

The private view was disastrous. No one came at all, despite advertising on Facebook, twitter, email promotion, and posters around Lincoln, not one person within the Lincoln art community came to the opening for this exhibition. 

So of course, I'm really disappointed at this lack of support for what I believe is a really good show, and a fantastic opportunity to contribute work.
However, I really hope to gain more support as this show is on, and it won't put me off.

I also enjoyed the Pecha Kucha evening, in which I shared my experiences of my all-expenses-paid travels to Oslo and the Apparatjik performance to a small group of artists at The Collection without my cold presenting huge problems. 

Here is more information about Apparatjik and why I feel so much satisfaction from working with them as part of a collaborative project - an excerpt:

- Are you satisfied with the results of engaging the audience on the “Everybody is One Bar” Music Collaboration Project? Did the contribution of audience members affect the end result significantly?
- Oh yes, we’ve done a few projects like that: we did “Everybody is a pixel”, “Everybody is one bar”, “Everybody is on stage”. It started with “Everybody is an Apparatjik”. Our idea was that we are not Apparatjik, we are Apparatjiks, which means that Apparatjik is something bigger than us and that means that whoever is involved, whoever we guess is involved, is a part of Apparatjik. So it’s almost more like a system that we want to cultivate. I’m doing a book now, trying to document all the things we have done with Apparatjik. And it’s surprising how many creative things come from the fans or from the supporters. This is much more interesting than the band idea. In fact, I don’t really like all the music that we’ve made. I liked some of it. I have to play it, because this is Apparatjik, but I don’t have to like it. 

The work I've been doing and contributing with Apparatjik is a way of combining my own research and interests with what they do. I've been working with Magne since my degree for these collaborative projects, which I do because I love contributing to them and working with them, clearly, it's a two-way thing (or 5 way, whichever!) and when local UK based arts organisations ask me to pay £10, £15 to submit work for exhibitions etc, and I still get a rejection, to have these very high profile artists supporting my work, never rejected, to have the opportunity to show my work at some very prestigious locations, to not have to pay any money I don't possess to go to Oslo to see them perform, to participate myself as a fellow Apparatjik, but to have that cost offset as a work trip, to receive such excellent level of support this way. No, I didn't get the AA2A scheme either, but that isn't going to stop the graphic novel from happening. I've just been too busy to do any work on that lately. 

Apparatjik is for me a way of being able to work with artists / musicians that totally get it, and I know the cross over of concepts is mutually beneficial. The fact that when they first posted an image of a tree and a mirror, my first reaction was that it was Borges again. It probably wasn't at all, I don't think that was their concept behind AGreenerYouniverse at all, but that's what sprang to mind. I was thinking about The Garden Of Forking Paths at the time for my own work. And it isn't entirely inconceivable that in a parallel universe it IS Borges. It is Tlon. I'm not even sure what my work is about anyway. Sometimes it seems to be Borges, other times it's something else entirely, never absolute. Which is fine in Apparatjik's multiverse. So these occasional collaborations will continue, and I hope bigger and better things will occur, we'll see what comes of them. I hope they get some form of sponsorship, I'm still working on funding so they can come to Lincoln - that would be great fun for them, and fun for us here as well, for artists here to get involved. It just seems like this should happen somehow. The Viking Way is meant for Apparatjik.

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