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.