South London Gallery and a Final Word

It’s fitting that having just passed the two year anniversary of starting this blog and project, I bring it to an end. I do so with good news and a final look at the project.

First the good news. As you may have seen from my recent social media postings, South London Gallery has agreed to stock the book, This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age. I’m very pleased because South London Gallery is one of those important spaces which is highly visible on the international art stage. Their acclaimed exhibition programme includes established international artists as well as early and mid-career UK artists. It is an important fixture in South London for the best and brightest in the arts.

Watch for This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age in their bookshop in the coming weeks.


And a final look at This ‘Me’ of Mine as a response to evaluations on the project.

I asked a small focus group to consider several aspects of This ‘Me’ of Mine. Here are the highlights of their findings:

“Research into the subject of self and identity was very much present throughout the exhibition, though sometimes breadth of research seemed to get in the way of depth of research. I think it’s a terrific methodology to combine seemingly disparate sources and reference materials (from Deleuze to Shakespeare to Grimm Brothers to Twitter), but in order to make such surprising combinations accessible, focus and thrust of argument (whether critical, political or aesthetic) needs to be even more clear than when traditional disciplinary boundaries are in place.”

This is a very interesting point, and one well taken. We live in a time where combinations like those mentioned above are the norm. The disparate and distanced sit side by side on our computers screens every day demanding we consider them equally. We are learning to follow threads of information in ways meaningful to us rather than in ways presented and we have myriad forms in receiving information to consider when following a thread. I think ultimately, this will affect they way we view art as well. The structure of this project was to present threads of associations, threads which changed with each venue. The exhibitions were also closely linked to an active blogsite which created an even more complex method for information assimilation.

“As I entered the large octagonal space on a bright morning, the pieces seem peripheral.

The interactive piece is not working. The adjoining exhibition rooms, with flickering screens and varied pieces, feel like you’re entering the shaded space of the mind. Like indistinct, but viscerally present sensations.

The Art School Gallery space is the dominant factor, which in itself raises questions about  the exertion of the public over the private self.

Within these constraints the space was used well, and there are some very interesting pieces in the show, which call for a felt and thoughtful response.”

The challenge of curating one exhibition spread amongst 8 gallery rooms at the Art School Gallery was huge. I felt certain there would be no way to keep a continuous thought as visitors moved from room to room, especially with so much varied work. I elected to present a different theme in each gallery, but one related to the overall show premise. I think at each venue, visitors felt the presence of each particular space on the show; a very interesting response to witness as curator.

Jane has put an enormous amount of work and time into coordinating an ambitious exhibition programme, which is obvious to viewers. I think that this commitment combined with a few more degrees of editing and focus could lead to even stronger curatorial work in the future.

Undoubtedly, the experience gained from This ‘Me’ of Mine will impact on future projects and I look forward to it!

My sincere thanks to the focus group participants for their insightful and thoughtful responses to the project.

With that, This ‘Me’ of Mine is now finished.

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Book Review!

I’m very pleased to say we have our first review for This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age from independent reviewers, BlueInk Review. Another opportunity to review the book is coming soon from a-n through their Interface platform. Watch for that and maybe you can get a free copy of the book!

BlueInk Review

You can purchase This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age through our BOOKSHOP affiliated with The Book Depository, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. The book is also available by order through Waterstones and is coming soon to TATE Bookshop.

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The End (well almost)

Waving Goodbye to This 'Me' of Mine

L to R: Darren Nixon, Molly Behagg, Hayley Harrison, Hayley’s partner

The show is now closed, but in fact there will still be activity on the blog as I continue to post more images of artworks, evaluation info, book info and other things to finish out the project as a whole. It’s a very interesting thing for me to fully grasp that even though the show is closed, there are still aspects of the project which have yet to be completed and the blog is the place where this will transpire. The significance of this is only now sinking in, as odd as that may sound.

I equate curating with storytelling. Whether it’s telling the story of an artist’s work and vision, or telling the story of a larger cultural concept there is always a question of communication; often it is a question of how much information to give. There can be no communication without a common ground from which empathy happens. It was this common ground and empathy I hoped to reach in people visiting This ‘Me’ of Mine. I was very gratified to read a comment in the Art School guest book which expressed the visitor’s confusion at first, but given a little time looking, certain threads made themselves visible, threads which the visitor was able to follow and provided a way into a deeper understanding of the show. This is the way of communication in our media-saturated world; we have to choose our threads carefully now for a deeper understanding.

As I sit here writing this, I feel in a very odd place. Work which has consumed all my time and mental activity for the past two years is nearly finished. I am bereft and elated in the same breath. It is finished, yet I still have more work to do. This duality is a curious thing and it doesn’t feel ready to settle. I think this is a new reality too – we must navigate different temporal spaces simultaneously now and the tug can be as powerful as an undercurrent. Perhaps the trick is to swim across the current.

We’ve had a big viewing day today with nearly 50 visitors, 101 views and we’ve topped the 19,000 hits mark, all to see Arnold’s exhibition photographs. Stay with us, you’ll be interested to see all of the works in the expanded show for the Art School Gallery, and there are several book reviews in the works. Speaking of the book, it was lovely to meet Julie, a volunteer at the gallery. She was deeply engaged in reading the book while invigilating for the gallery and This ‘Me’ of Mine. I was pleased that Sarah Hervey was there with me on the last day of show, because the three of us had some very interesting discussions – which is what it’s all about.

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2013 in review from WordPress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Find out all the fascinating facts about This ‘Me’ of Mine blog for 2013!
Click here to see the complete report.

This ‘Me’ of Mine at TATE

This 'Me' of Mine book What a thrill it is to write that title.

No, we won’t be exhibiting at the TATE, but the TATE bookshop has agreed to stock This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age in the New Year. I can think of no better ending for the project than that – well, okay it would be a better ending if we were offered space to exhibit at TATE, but I’m very content with the ending as it is.

Stay tuned, we’ll have images of the show from Ipswich, evaluations of the project, critical responses, and a book review by Blue Ink Review and more.

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Video Full House

video still from Identity in the Digital Age sypmosium, Photo credit: Henrietta Thomas

Members of the symposium audience join in the discussion of shifting social taboos as a result of social media communications

Identity in the Digital Age, the symposium for This ‘Me’ of Mine is now available on YouTube, as is the final instalment of Artists in Conversation.

The symposium is presented in four parts, each about 30 minutes, which make up two hours of conversation. And what a conversation it was! We discussed archiving, narcissism, the power of objects, tattooing, the influence of social media and so much more. I can’t possibly do it justice here, you’ll have to watch the videos.

video still from Artists in Converstation, Ipswich Photo Credit: Henrietta Thomas

David Riley (on the left) and Darren Nixon discuss objects as signifiers, both personally and socially, in Artists in Conversation

Artists David Riley, Annabel Dover and Darren Nixon join me for a discussion of ‘Irrationality’ for the final instalment of Artists in Conversation. We had a very interesting discussion which suggested irrationality can be a kind of displacement.

See all the videos from This ‘Me’ of Mine on the project YouTube channel and join in some thought provoking discussions, your comments are welcome!

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Final Four Weeks of This ‘Me’ of Mine

Installation view, Art School Gallery, Photo: A. Borgerth

Left to Right: Bird (c)2011 Suzanne de Emmony, Echo (c)2011 Lisa Snook, Untitled Nude (c)2011 Shireen Qureshi Photo by: A. Borgerth

If you haven’t yet seen the expanded This ‘Me’ of Mine exhibition at Ipswich Art School with guest artists Molly Behagg, Edward Chell, Suzanne de Emmony, Kate Elliott, Andrew Litten, Gary Mansfield, Helen Scalway, Lisa Snook, Jacqueline Utley, and Kai-Oi Jay Yung – these are the final four weeks of the show. One kind visitor filled out our “What Do You Think” questionnaire recently and had this to say:

I was much impressed with the work and I think particularly as I saw it first-hand rather than after following from a distance.  The scale or intimacy and presence of the different works is significant I think.

The space/s at Ipswich lend [themselves] well to much of the work as many of the pieces gain a certain impact, in terms of proximity to the viewer; impressing a certain . . . relation between what is ‘depicted’ or present and how the viewer assimilates or receivers what is there.

The premise of the show is very well conveyed both in terms of the selected artists work and in the methods of display and situation within the space.

The Holiday Season is here, a perfect time for a short trip to see the lovely Victorian Ipswich Museum and the wonderful atrium space of the Art School Gallery. I overheard one person say This ‘Me’ of Mine was the best show they’ve seen in the gallery. Come see why.

And of course, This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age would make a great gift! The book showcases the full length interviews with artists, Anthony Boswell, Jane Boyer, Sandra Crisp, Annabel Dover, Hayley Harrison, Aly Helyer, Sarah Hervey, Cathy Lomax, David Minton, Kate Murdoch, Darren Nixon, Edd Pearman, Shireen Qureshi, David Riley and Melanie Titmuss, with essays by Paul O’Kane, Gen Doy, Becky Huff Hunter, David Houston Jones, Aiden Gregg, Catherine Horan and Jane Boyer. It also features a fairytale written for Annabel Dover by Carol Mavor!

The book is available from these online booksellers: Amazon, The Book Depository, and Barnes and Noble .

Hop to our BOOKSHOP to order direct.

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THE BOOK IS HERE!

screenshot of www.thismeofminebook.com

I’m so very pleased to announce the release of This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time & Context in the Digital Age, the companion book for This ‘Me’ of Mine. The book is more than an exhibition catalogue, it is an intricate view of self in relation to context and explores issues of memory, objects and identity, finding a voice and being an individual in the contemporary world. These last two topics are covered beautifully in essays by Gen Doy and Paul O’Kane, respectively. Gen Doy, author of Picturing the Self, writes beautifully about the significance of voice to identity in her essay, “Finding a Voice?”. “The Scene of the Self” by Paul O’Kane opens the book with sensitivity and a vast array of stimulating mental imagery. It is a beautifully crafted piece of writing and I am so honoured he wrote it especially for This ‘Me’ of Mine. All of the essays written for the book are unique, thoughtful and present a variety of views on the subject which creates a depth that can only be described as an “exhibition in book form”. I’m very proud to present them to you in this book. The heart and soul of the book are the artworks in the touring exhibition and full versions of artist interviews with: David Minton, Aly Helyer, David Riley, Anthony Boswell, Melanie Titmuss, Shireen Qureshi, Sarah Hervey, Kate Murdoch, Sandra Crisp, Annabel Dover, Edd Pearman, Cathy Lomax, Hayley Harrison, Darren Nixon and Jane Boyer.

You can purchase the book through Amazon.com . The book is also available through our BOOKSHOP affiliate, The Book Depository and at barnesandnoble.com.

(NOTE: the links to purchase or search for the book through Xlibris and http://www.thismeofminebook.com are currently not working due to an Xlibris system upgrade. I apologize for any inconvenience. Please make purchases through our BOOKSHOP or one of the other sites above.)

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Identity in the Digital Age discussed inside-out

Symposium video still, image credit: Henrietta Thomas

L to R: Jane Boyer, David Houston Jones, Aiden Gregg, Annabel Dover, Catherine Horan

We had a great discussion!

Yesterday’s symposium, Identity in the Digital Age, was a fascinating, deliberate meander thorough topics on archiving – everything from mass data to body tattoos; identity – how we arrive at one, what we do with it, how we express it, how we relate ours to others and how new media is affecting it; objects – from letters, to teddy bears to bathtubs and beyond; memory and the sinister nature of not forgetting or having the right to forget; and culture from pre-alphabet people’s ‘acoustic space’ to our own taboos and the strange, almost off-kilter, awareness of seeing them change in real time. I can’t possibly do it justice…

…you’ll have to see the video!

Henri nearly has the final Artist is Conversation video ready, so we’ll have that soon and she’ll have the symposium video ready in the coming weeks.

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Symposium Tomorrow!

Experience, (c)2013 Shireen Qureshi

Experience, (c)2013 Shireen Qureshi

IDENTITY IN THE DIGITAL AGE TOMORROW!

2ND NOVEMBER, 2 TO 4 pm

Ipswich Art School Gallery

1 Upper High Street

Ipswich  IP1 3NE

Tickets are still available online through Eventbrite or pay cash on the door £15. University Campus Suffolk students pay only £5 with a valid student ID card.

We hope you’ll join us for a fascinating discussion!

Make a day of it, three great shows to see in Ipswich:

This ‘Me’ of Mine, Ipswich Art School Gallery

Spill Tarot Exhibition, Pacitti Company (right next door to This ‘Me’ of Mine)

East Contemporary Art at Waterfront Gallery, University Campus Suffolk

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