Reflections on workshop 2 of project 41 collaboration

The following writeup is a reflection from the second workshop of an ongoing collaboration to develop a project which seeks to create dialogue on and experimentation with curatorial practice. The background to these workshops can be found on our contemporary curating page.

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“The second workshop focused on using our interests to develop different models for project 41. Some of the circulated examples provided us with ideas on methods to use, or principles to consider. The use of doubts and questions in the project wrong place could be starting points for project 41 and future participants. The text, “in support of” by Celine Condorelli on support structures was useful in drawing out some principles of project 41, in particular, the emphasis on the temporal and invisible nature of dependency, and the creation of symbiotic relationships.

It seemed that we naturally gravitated towards two different models for project 41 based on our interests.

One model was driven towards creating collaborative opportunities and programmes within the exhibition process. This involved bringing together practitioners involved in making art and curating to engage in discussions, to experiment with text and space, and to invite resource persons to speak or facilitate dialogues. The value of this model would be that direct connections could be made between discussion and practice, with focused attention on a small group of practitioners for peer learning. Some of the challenges and questions to be addressed involved broadening the process to involve audiences and other practitioners, and in determining a suitable process to sustain participation over an intensive period.

The other model centered on events hosted by different individuals, to address curating from cross-disciplinary perspectives and to serve as a springboard for subsequent collaborations undertaken based on the initiative of participants. Some of the events suggested included reading groups and facilitated discussions on thorny issues such as power and roles of artists and curators.

Thinking about both models, the first one, being project-driven, has the advantage of ensuring that the practice-led component would be integrated. The second one, being outward-centered considers a broader group of audiences and might allow for diverse range of collaborations. We spoke about how the different models could relate to each other. For example, the first model could influence the theme and type of events in the second model.

On a separate note, I learnt about Collective Gallerys support for writing, and found out that their New Work Scotland Programme contains a writing strand to promote creative writing about the visual arts. This newsletter publishes some of the writing developed under this programme.”

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