Site 26th October
I chose to reflect on site using my own work as a starting point as it raises many questions about site.
Slide 1 contains 3 images:
- a work made in the studio which was shown in 2 shows in London
- a work made in the studio for a specific site in response to that site
- work made in site as a response to the site
The audience for this work is very different. Galleries in the centre of London have a specific public and many more people see this work. In both cases with other people’s work. The site specific work was seen by an anonymous audience which included other artists in the end. The experience both as artist and audience is really different. One goes deliberately to see the art the other stumbles across it and encounters it. In the case of the 3rd image i felt I had to complete this in one go.
Slide 2 More about making work in the site and collaboration with public
This is a project called the Red Shoes collective which is led by Elina Chauvet. The project started in an attempt to about make invisible the violent deaths of young women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and has continued around the world. The public are involved in making (painting)and donating (bringing) shoes. The idea is that the issue was being ignored and that it is a complex issue for the whole of society.Elina Chauvet
Slide 3 This illustrates the display of this in sites around the world – it makes the issue very visible.
However very few people see the actual work. I for one have only seen it online, as is the case with most artwork. We see artwork everyday online – the internet is the main site for artwork whether we like it or not. We simply would not be aware of what is happening in art globally without it. I believe the best way to see work, of any type is by direct experience but I am glad I am aware of many other things too.
Slide 4 This is an example of a related web based project ‘Sleeping Beauties’ which was started in 2007 as a response to the number of women killed in acts of domestic violence in Spain. The artist or facilitator has made stickers and anyone can collaborate by asking for a sticker and documenting what they do with it. All the responses are posted on the website and occasionally there have been exhibitions of this documentation. These have been sited locally in community centres in general. sleeping beauties
Slide 5 The Tate Modern Gift shop – how many people just go to museum gift shops. I question this because a friend recently went to Vienna with a work colleague who didn’t want to go to the museums but just to shop in the gift shop. Since Walter Benjamin acknowledged the widening public of consuming art in the ‘Age of Reproduction’ this has been taken into a whole new level. Are mouse mats sites for art? I am questioning whether commodities could be considered sites.
Slide 6 Benjamin also looked historically at the previous inseparability of art from magic and ritual and traced art back to a time when its visibility was not so important. He cites veiled virgins rarely seen and cave paintings not aimed at visibility as visual art which was not made to be seen. This magic and ritual purpose of art is seen as being from the past, however artists do make non visible work. I used Santiago Sierra’s 100 hidden individuals as an example of this. I wanted to make th distinction between invisible and nonvisible. The site being a hidden location rather than a sound installation in a gallery for example.
Slide 7 Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty used as an example of something that was always very difficult to see.
Slide 8 The house of Hreinn Fridfinnsson (1974) sited in remote Icelandic crater an almost impossible place to visit. The house is inside out and he followed it by 2 others, the second in France was inside out therefore the usual way round and the third is a mere structure. We know of this work through documentation.
Slide 9 shows a close up of the house and the book which accompanies them.
Slide 10 Back to my own work and the Tabacalera exhibition in a cigarette factory – I was very happy with this exhibition at the time but now I can see a disconnect between the site and the work. It is an historical building but my work does not respond to its history.
Slide 11 This is a proposal which redressed the balance. The site was local housing from the time of the cigarette factory which is now used by one of Madrid’s universities as a cultural center. The proposal is to use the local history with in the site. For now it is just a virtual proposal on my webpage.
Slide 12 The final 2 slides are about resiting and this is about my taking or stealing objects from one setting and placing them in another. I am interested in how specific objects become placed in museums and how this is decided. These 2 cans are from the 2011 London riots and my 2015 exploratory project site close to Madrid. They are common but have very different stories.
Slide 13 makes me an art thief these plaster forms were placed in the window next to the 3rd painting on slide 3. I stole one. The objects on slides 12 and 13 are currently in my studio I am unsure of what I will do with them.