Vancouver Art/Book Fair
Vancouver Art Gallery. Esitleb Project Space.
Tasuta ja kõigile avatud Vancouver Art/Book Fair on ainuke rahvusvaheline kunstiraamatute mess Kanadas ja üks ainult kahest kogu Läänekaldal.
VA/BF’i esitleb mittetulundusühing Project Space, mis on pühendatud publikatsioonidele kui kunstilisele meediumile. Kahepäevane kunstnike algatatud kirjastuste festival kuhu tuleb kokku üle saja kohaliku ja rahvusvahelise kirjastuse ning lisaks leiab aset mitmekesine kõrvalprogramm, etendusi ja installatsioone. Põhiesinejad tulevad Vancouverisse üle kogu Kanada ja ülemaailmselt ning esitlevad kõike alates raamatutest, ajakirjadest, zine’dest ja muudest prinditud teostest kuni digitaalsete, performatiivsete ja teiste eksperimentaalsete vormideni.
VA/BF korraldab paralleelselt messile veel ka kunstnikuraamatute nädalat, mille käigus toimub mitmete kunstnike, kuraatorite, kollektiivide ja institutsioonide poolt võõrustatud seeria erinevaid anut meediumit käsitlevaid üritusi paikades üle Vancouveri.
Kunstnike algatatud keskused ja nende esindus Kanadas ehk mis on ARC, ARCA ja PAARC?
Olen Kanadas paljude kunsti puudutavate tekstide puhul kokku puutunud mitmesuguste lühenditega ja teen endale nüüd selgeks, mis nende taga peitub.
ARCs ehk Artist-run Centres on mitteärilised organisatsioonid, mida juhivad kunstnikud ning mis toetavad kunstis uusi ja innovatiivseid praktikaid. Kanadas ulatub ARC’de rikkalik ajalugu üle kolmekümne aasta tagusesse aega , mis on omanud märkimisväärset mõju nii siinsele kui ka ülemaailmsele kultuuriökoloogiale. Üldiselt näitavad need keskused nüüdiskunsti, kõrvutudes suurematele institutsioonidele ja kommertslikele eragaleriidele ning pakkudes kunstnikele alternatiivi otsustada ise oma tööde esitlemise üle.
Viimaste kümnendite jooksul on ARC’id aidanud kaasa paljude kaasaegse kunsti arengutele. Olles avatud eksperimentaalsele ja mittekommertslikule kunstile on toetatud näiteks performance kunsti, video ja uue meedia kasutuselevõttu.Raamistikuga, mis analüüsib kunsti uusi arenguid on ARC’id olnud olulised ka kaasaegse kunsti kriitilise diskursuse laienemisel. ARC’id on moodustanud ülekanadalise võrgustiku kuhu kuulub kunstnikke, kuraatoreid, kriitikuid ja teisi kunstitöötajad ning samuti ka piirkondlike, riiklikke ja rahvusvahelisi liite. Jagades eesmärki teenida kunsti kogukonda ja laiendada kaasaegse kunsti välja, moodustavad Kanada ja Briti Kolumbia artist-run keskused ja organisatsioonid galeriide, presentatsiooniruumide, kunstnike stuudiote ja tootmispindade, kollektiivide, arhiivide, kirjastuste, ajakirjade, raamatupoodide ja festivalide võrgustiku.
ARC’id on iseorganiseerunud, mis tähendab, et neid reguleerivad kunstnikud ja nende poolt volitatud isikud järgivad iseseisva kunstilise enesemääratluse printsiipe. See hõlmab endas kunstilise produktsiooni ning esitlemise kinnitamist ja hindamist omasuguste ringis, mitte pöördumist turu või institutsionaalsete prioriteetide juurde. Seega tagavad ARC’id ressursid, et levitada ja sõnastada eksperimentaalset, kriitilist, marginaalset, keerulis ja transgressiivset kunstilist väljendust. Toetades sotsiaalselt aktiivset tööd, kunstilist innovatsiooni, uusi esilekerkivaid kunstnikke ja praktikaid, moodustavad ARC’id keskseid struktuure Kanada kujutava kunsti süsteemis. Läbi oma tegevuse laiendavad nad kaasaegse kunsti produtseerimise piire, soodustavad kriitilist diskursust ja loovad toetusvõtgustiku kunstikogukonna liikmetele. Enamus Kanada tuntumaid ja rahvusvaheliselt tunnustatud kaasaegseid kunstnikke, kuraatoreid ja kultuuritöötajaid on tulnud välja artist-run keskuste liikumisest.
Info pärineb veebilehelt ArcPost (http://arcpost.ca/)
Lugemissoovitus: What makes a successful artist-run institution? (http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/all-for-one/)
ARCA ehk Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference on Kanada organisatsioon, mis esindab üheksa artist-run keskuste ühenduse näol umbkaudu 170 artist-run keskust ja kollektiivi üle terve riigi. Artist-run keskuste liidud on tunnustatud mittetulunduslikud geograafia-, identiteedi-ja distsipliinipõhised artist-run ühingud, mis alluvad ettevõtte suundumustele ja esindavad oma liikmesust.
ARCA missiooniks on esindada ja kaitsta artist-run keskuste ja kollektiivide õigusi ning huve riiklikul tasandil ja riiklike kunstiühenduste siseselt; hõlbustada ja edendada võrgustike loomist erinevate liikmeteks olevate piirkondlike kultuuriühingute vahel; koostada uuringuid ja propageerimisvahendeid, mis aitavad välja selgitada ja hallata teemasid, mis mõjutavad kunstnike juhitud keskuseid ja kollektiive kujutava kunsti vallas; edendada artist-run keskuste rolli ja kujutavasse kunsti ja Kanada identiteeti panustamise tähtsust.
ARCA asutati ametlikult 2005. aastal.
Liikmed: Association of Artist-Run Centres from the Atlantic (AARCA); Le Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ); Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO); Manitoba Artist-Run Centres Coalition (MARCc); Plains Association of Artist-Run Centres (PARCA); Alberta Association of Artist-Run Centres (AAARC); Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (PAARC); The Aboriginal Region; L’Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones (AGAVF)
PAARC ehk The Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres loodi 1988. aastal kui Briti Kolumbia artist-run keskuseid esindav ühing. Liikmesorganisatsioonid on kunstnike algatatud ja kunstnike poolt kontrollitud. Ühenduse esmane korraldus on töötamine praktiseeriva kunstniku kasuks kunstnike enesemääratlemise raamistikus. PAARC’i liikmed koordineerivad oma avamisvastuvõtte ja üritusi, teevad koostööd algatuste kavandamisel ja propageerimisel. PAARC’i kuulub 31 keskust , keda esindatakse piirkondlikult, provintsaalselt ja üleriigiliselt. PAARC konsulteerib regulaarselt rahastajatega keskustele olulistes küsimustes.
PAARCi liikmed asuvad piirkondades Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops ja Nelson. Lisaks on ka mitmeid iseorganiseerunud kunstnike galeriisid, stuudioid ja algatusi üle kogu provintsi. Aastate jooksul on Briti Kolumbia oluliselt kaasa aidanud Kanada artist-run keskuste võrgustiku arengule, eelkõige juba seetõttu, et oli asukohaks esimese artist-run keskuse rajamisele Kanadas, milleks oli Vancouveris 1967. aastal algatatud Intermedia Society. Kuigi viimane tegutses vaid ainult paar aastat, inspireeris Intermedia kunstnikke kogu riigi ulatuses iseorganiseeruma ja looma artist-run keskuseid ka enda kogukonnas. Tänaseni tegutsevad mõned vanimad Kanada artist-run keskused just Briti Kolumbias.
Liikmed: 221A; Access Gallery; Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art; Arnica Open Studio & Gallery; Artspeak; Balcone; Cineworks; Decoy Magazine; Dynamo Arts Association; Gallery Gachet; grunt gallery; Live Biennale; Lived Space; Malaspina Printmakers Society; MediaNet; Ministry of Casual Living; Mixed Use; ON MAIN; Open Space; Or Gallery; Other Sights for Artists’ Projects Association; Oxygen Art Centre
Project Space; Projectile Publishing Society / Fillip Review; Shudder Gallery; UNIT/PITT Projects; VIVO Media Arts Centre; W2 Community Media Arts; Western Front; Xchanges Artists' Gallery & Studios
Teisi Briti Kolumbia artist-run keskuseid: CSA Space; DOVA projects; East Van Studios; Exercise; The Fifty Fifty Arts Collective; Gam Gallery; Labyrinth Art Gallery; Positive Negative; The Crying Room; The Toast Collaective; Topdown Bottomup; Ullus Collective; Yactac Gallery
Kulla Laas, Vancouver 2014
Tere! Mina olen Kulla Laas, Rundum Artist-run Space’i üks asutajaliige. Viibin sügishooajal 2014 Vancouveris, Kanadas. Olen vahetusõpilane Emily Carr University of Art + Design’is ja uurin siinset kunstnike initsatiivil rajanevat kultuuri. Külastan üritusi, käin näitustel, vestlen asjaosalistega, loen ja kirjutan. Jagan siin blogi vormis mõningaid palasid.
Semi-Public project site (271 Union Street, Vancouver)
Ideid alternatiivseteks näitusepindadeks vol. 1
Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 2012
Kuidas hinnata osaluskunsti?
Claire Bishop ja Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead
In this evaluation practices paper I will rely on Claire Bishop's book Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship and how it challenges the political and aesthetic ambitions of participatory art, to explore Mike Kelley’s project Mobile Homestead implemented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit since 2012.
In Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship Bishop follows the art historical key moments in the development of ‘participatory art’, an aesthetic that connotes the involvement of many people, where social engagement is the central artistic medium and material. She challenges many modernist approaches and sees how the artist becomes more of a collaborator and producer, the work of art becomes an ongoing or long-term project, and the audience is repositioned as active co-producer or participant. Those post-studio practices take place in the real world and give ground to a variety of artistic and social critiques, judgments and a revisiting of collectivism. Here specific socio-political contexts, connections with other disciplines and value judgments play a great role. Most importantly, socially oriented art projects restore attention to modes of conceptual affective complexities where what matters are live encounters, experiences, ideas and possibilities that result from the interactions enabled by social practices. Approaching participatory art with positivist sociological vocabulary, a focus on ethical rather than artistic criteria, seems inadequate and it should be looked for qualities that characterize the humanities and yet not forgotten that art and the social are to be sustained in continual tension. The latter also solves a common question about why to call social practices ‘art’. According to Bishop, an ideal outcome for a social practices project could be understood as a shared social engagement that believes in art’s power to reflect, bring people together, to have and give voice to the public. But if artists choose to do something in the “real world” the real rules that different situations and contexts set, also count what means that an artist has to have responsibility and control over the intentions’ legibility.
I find that Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead meets the criteria for being an effective social practices project. The near-exact replica of the childhood home now serves as an ever-evolving community center. It engages people in different local contexts but rises from a very specific one in Detroit, Michigan, which has been in real need for community activism and positive development. The detachable facade of the home, set on a street-legal trailer, is meant to travel from city to city hosting art, educational and social services initiatives. The Mobile Homestead is open to public and travelling around that makes it a process based project running through many locations that each have different specific situations. I think this movement is good for relating to places also in the need for community based gatherings and discussion. But it can also be questionable if the project reaches a meaningful outcome. According to Bishop it could be said for the protection of the work that what counts here is the long-term process, the participatory itself and the experiences and ideas resulting.
In this the project was actually put into practice not by the artist himself but by another party, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. This may give rise to another question about the artistic validity of the piece and even lead to suspicion of its instrumentalisation, the museum taking advantage of the artwork as a mean for soft social engineering. Unfortunately we don’t have the artist to give evidence and because the project’s outcome has been positive and the artist’s ideas have remained pure, there is no reason to doubt the good cause of it all. There is no doubt that with Mobile Homestead there are real artistic approaches and socio-political values involved.
Kulla Laas, Social Practice Seminar. Emily Carr University of Art+Design, 14.10.2014
Deadhead by Cedric, Nathan and Jim Bomford.
Other Sites for Artists’ Projects. Curator: Barbara Cole
Awhile ago I had a chance to visit Deadhead in False Creek, just a short boat ride away from Granville Island. It is a very special example of large-scale public art organized by Other Sites for Artists’ Projects. The sculptural installation mounted to a barge and towed by a tug to different locations along Vancouver’s waterways is made by Cedric Bomford in collaboration with his brother Nathan and their father Jim. Deadhead started its moorage in Heritage Harbour at the Vancouver Maritime museum in June 14, 2014 and is now located in the Fraser River, North Delta.
Other Sites for Artists’ is a non-profit collective working on projects accessible to a broader public outside the gallery contex Deadhead is their completion with When the Hosts Come Home, a series of projects making creative use of recycled material and exploring issues of sustainability in the local urban environment. Deadman’s criticality towards these themes takes a poetical and playful form but has a reliable foundation thanks to specific research and purposeful action concerning the local. The Bomfords have built on environmental particularities of the location, starting from the work’s setting in the water. The construction involves discussions about ways of habiting, surviving, squatting and community in the persistent conditions of the coastal area, which together with the artists’ creative process, raises a mysterious and hybrid form. Situated in False Creek next to tall and all alike glass buildings of the downtown, Deadhead first caught the eye as resembling something between a ship and a wooden shack, strongly representing a homemade quality. On the deck the place opened up to many directions with the space offering views, places to stand, sit, and lean on and to develop one’s own interpretations.
The Deadhead is formed by improvisational architecture with a World War II barge as a platform for a cryptic sequence of steps and passages on different levels. The materials find an inventive re-use. Dominating wooden structures contain sections wrapped in photographic murals and photographs can also be seen as a reuse, reflecting the potential of what already exists in the world. The Bomfords are relating to an approach that thinks through building that finding its form in art.
It was easy to see many different meanings in the fantasy-like space of Deadhead. Until the end I couldn’t decide what it actually was. It has a dreamlike status, a resemblance to a tree house that gives shelter in its lonely corners; a guard house, lookouts, observation platform, sections of walls, stairs and ramps. Or it could also be more of an island, with a utopian sense in its overall positive view on alternative spaces. The place tempts a visitor to explore and experience the structure, yet it always remains a bit unknown.
I found myself in the round space in the middle of the spirally growing Deadhead like in a shell or the Tower of Babel. There in this circular form that connected different spheres like a church or a tree, lied the core power. I was somewhere else and able to let go of my knowledge about the surrounding. This is how things really begin to take meaning. It felt nothing at all like it first seemed from outside, opening up all those myths and metaphors. If the global flood we’re in now is the intense contemporary life we live, then places like Deadhead may keep us afloat. There should be much more “other places” like this, living works of art that give hope and places to turn to like a fairytale castle.
Kulla Laas, Studies in Curatorial Practice, Emily Carr University of Art+Design, 08.10.2014
Other Sites for Artists
2005. aastal asutatud mittetulundusühing Other Sights toimib Vancouveris tegutseva kollektiivna, kelle kompetentsus põhineb ajutiste avaliku ruumi kunstiprojektide kureerimisel, projektihaldusel, esitlusel, kättetoimetamisel ja arendamisel. Other Sights on pühendunud erinevatest kunsti vastuvõtu viisidest tulenevatele väljakutsetele, diskursuse julgustamisele ja jagatud sotsiaalse ruumi kohta individuaalsete väljavaadete kujundamise soodustamisele. Other Sights taotleb kunsti kohalolekut ruumides ja paikades, mis on kättesaadavad laialdasele avalikkusele nagu näiteks tehiskeskkond, sidetehnoloogiad, meedia ja tänav.
Töötades väljaspool galeriikonteksti, on Other Sights välja arendanud uue ja ootamatu platvormi näitustele ja toetanud kunstnikke, kirjutajaid ja kuraatoreid, kelle huviks on luua ajutiseid ja kriitilisi teoseid väga nähtavatesse asukohtadesse. Nad teevad koostööd ja jagavad ressursse organisatsioonide ja eraisikutega, et esitleda projekte, mis võtavad arvesse esteetilisi, majanduslikke ning regulatoorseid avalike paikade ja avaliku elu tingimusi.
15th Annual Swarm Festival of Artist-Run Culture by PAARC
Swarm on kahepäevane sündmus, mis tähistab Vancouveri artist-run keskuste (ARC) programmi uue hooaja algust hulga näituste avamiste, etenduste, linastuste ja eriüritustega. Külastajatel avaneb taas võimalus saada osa hulgalistest kultuurilistes kogemustest, mis näitavad Vancouveri erilist mõju kaasaegse kunsti diskursusele.
Osalevad organisatsioonid: Artspeak, Dynamo Arts Association, grunt gallery, Malaspina Printmakers Society, New Forms Festival, Or Gallery, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Western Front ja paljud teised.
Some notes on exhibitions using the urban setting
Adjacencies by Cindy Mochizuki, Dennis Ha, Felicia E. Gail, Lauren Marsden and SPOOX (Julia Feyrer and Pietro Sammarco). Semi-Public project site (271 Union Street), 27.09.2014.
Jimmy Xerox & the Mala Mala Malas by Joseph Staples & Femme Zeppelin. Malaspina Printmakers, 12.09-12.10.2014
I have recently had a few exhibition experiences that were a refreshing change to conventional gallery spaces. The two that I would like to introduce here both used the urban setting for the unfolding of the projects, either as an extension for the main display or as a location for a surprising new place for exhibiting art. I will not concentrate much on the artworks but on the use of public space.
When I first encountered Semi-Public, a new project site in a gap between houses on Union Street, I was just walking by the empty lot one block away from where live and it caught my eye. Even if I didn’t know what it was, I felt there was something unusual happening. The place had a neat look very with white walls on two sides, nice grey ground and silver metal gates. The first thought was that it may be turned into a parking space because that’s what tends to happen to a lot of spare space inside the city. But a week after I was happy to hear of an art event happening there. It turned out to be the opening event on the site and an evening of site-responsive performances and installations called Adjacencies for what 221A had united with Access Gallery and the grunt gallery showing performances, projections and installations by several Vancouver-based artists. It seemed more like a community gathering that it actually was with 221A’s 10-year anniversary of their program. There were people chatting, drinking tea, several tents lying around, activities and play going on. The kind of messy and not very exhibition like event occupied space in the in the everyday cityscape that has much more to offer than a room with four walls. The main thing was the opening of the space in a transformed way, with a new function. It was a big shiny new start for the corner made very much gallery like but with the extra of the sky view and fresh air. Felicia E. Gail’s and Dennis Ha’s installations were concerned with the concept of shelter. And so was the whole focus of the action on artist gaining land in a context where there’s often a lack of space for production and no fixed place for art in the society.
I hope the place will show interesting projects in the future, invite people from the street to step closer and if I pass by it next to witness some art that makes use of the space’s full potential.
Another, very different kind of random stumbling upon art in the city was with some black and white Xerox print posters with photo collages pasted around the city. A lot later I found out that it was a part of an exhibition by Staples & Femme Zeppelin in Malaspina Printmakers that I soon also visited. The posters were put up to promote the opening and the performances that took place on the same night but without any further information about the event itself. They were ineffective in the sense of the traditional function that event posters have and same goes for the original printing matrices at the exhibition that were to be reclaimed after the conclusion of the show. In printmaking the work is usually done for lasting but this exhibition discarded these notions in favor of the disposable and rather created ephemera and temporary experiences. The musical cover band that was taken as a metaphor for the matrix and impression within printmaking revealed itself mainly in a video projection of the performance from the opening. There is a certain value in the recreation of a live performance but after all it’s not the real thing. That’s also what I felt in the gallery after seeing the posters on different surfaces in the city. For the gallery the works showed no good quality that we usually hope to find from an exhibition, but in the street environment the trashy prints started to live their own lives. The posters in the public are open for viewing, interpretation and even for intervention if needed. Here cityscape works as an extension of the exhibition. We say that there is no exhibition without the public. The streets are where the public is. It is a smart place to turn to for finding reflection.
In conclusion in both cases the outside setting was very beneficial for the artworks. If in some cases artists have something worthy in their hands but tend to make it messy, it is the openness of the outdoors that gives experimental space for something that in a gallery would look inappropriate. I look at posters differently now, imagining what’s behind them and see potential for art to occupy vacant places in the city. For artists to gain continuous public attention it is all about being in the right place in the right time, having the art quietly sneak closer.
Kulla Laas, Studies in Curatorial Practice, Emily Carr University of Art+Design 01.10.2014
The Hammock Residency, 923 Graveley St., Vancouver
Last week I visited the Hammock Residency in East Vancouver, a communal gathering and working place for artists, initiated by Heidi Nagtegaal. It is a place of warm and thrilling experiences, similar to some that I’ve seen before but more dreamlike and I think actually really functioning as the organizers have wanted. They had pancakes in the kitchen full of people, decorations everywhere and all this was deeply imbued with an artistic aura. There was no specific exhibition show at the time but the whole house itself seemed as an exhibition space in an all-embracing way. I began to think about the boundaries and limitations of an art exhibition.
There are many total spatial experiments made through art history that seem relevant to point out for exploring how far an art exhibition can go in its physical form and where does the artwork end and the exhibition space begins. First I can think of ideas concerning Kurt Shwitters’ dramatically altered interiors and the Merzbau with rooms in his own house transformed into a sculptural environment. This was a manifesto of the art’s whole process, the artist’s philosophy, and lifestyle - a space in a constant flux, an uncompleted work that by its very nature, continued to grow and change constantly. For Switters the making of art was not to be cordoned off from the life out of which it was produced. His work has been often described to be an extraordinary Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art.
The Hammock Residency also presents a living exhibition showing the artists’ lifestyle and a similar sense of totality. The artworks become as props in the interior and everything else as a part of an artwork in a larger scale, a space where a viewer can walk into. My favorite piece was an ornamented lamp switch cover, even though it may have not been there with the intention of being art but in this situation everything was. I guess many people have had moments in contemporary exhibitions where a fire distinguisher or an exit sign seems like a part of an exhibition and maybe even the best one. In the Hammock this happens all the time and is seen as a positive thing in every way. There were also some piles of pictures on one of the artists’ working table, and an exhibition coming up that will present those but this seems just like a formality this context where the exhibition was actually already set with those pieces lying on a table. I think that’s something that Ilya Kabakov with his notion of a “total installation” would agree on.
The Hammock started as a private space for only some artist friends and slowly grew out to be shared by a wider public. Now they invite everybody who’s interested to visit, have a big breath of their atmosphere, drink tea and sit around for a talk. It doesn’t have to be complex but space centered and precious, a word that Nagtegaal uses when talking about the Hammock on her webpage. Their initiative offers an important reminder that artist-run practice might find, in the act of making space, one of its most evocative and fundamental forms. 
With the Hammock the artists are making it happening on their own, creating conditions for working and productivity with a deep focus on real artistic activities. This starting position is similar to most of the now widespread artist-run centers but is still in contrast with them. As a number of artist-run initiatives have decided to move towards a more institutionalized model, the Hammock offers other ways of making art with ideas on unlearning binaries and discovering your own art world that does not consist of commercial galleries and curators. The space can be considered as an alternative exhibition space, but that’s not all what’s important.
The Hammock shows how an art organisation can be more than a platform for producing art and is able to build a support structure for a social group with specific needs and dreams, to serve a community. I think this is a now popular move towards a more real life centered parctice and again a curve away from the appolonic order that tryes to frame this realtionship in an almost violent way.
Kulla Laas. Studies in curatorial practices, Emily Carr University of Art+Design, 29.10.2014
 O'Brian, M. (Ed.) (. (2007). Vancouver Art & Economies. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.
Rohkem infot Hammock residentuuri kohta: https://www.facebook.com/hammockresidency
From artist-run spaces to spaces of social practice.
Research Paper, Social Practice Seminar. Tutor: Justin Langlois, Emily Carr University of Art+Design. 05.11.2014
This Research Paper will explore how an art organization can be more than a platform for producing art and build a support structure for different social groups. The main focus is on initiatives by artists and the development of artist-run centers that work for the art community and artists as a social group. Starting from social practices that have grown out from the artists’ needs, a movement towards projects that are concerned with engaging a wider public reveals itself. I will have a look into the local Canadian history of initiatives by artists, bring in some examples from the contemporary situation and give a comparison with similar developments but in different socio-political context.
First the focus should be on what has led to the popular movement of artist-run initiatives and what makes them different from being solely exhibition spaces. The processes have mostly been locally driven and gained their impetus from artists’ needs. The Canadian context is best for examining the history of self-initiative and artist-run culture, as the first and internationally most influential artist-run centers come from here. The artist-run culture has already a long history in the Western part of the world, and some predecessors in the earlier European art, but is still more or less only recently arriving to Eastern Europe, especially because of the quite recent gap in the free flow of art history caused by the Soviet Union. These contexts and their developments are very different that need to be considered to be able to map the contemporary state of artist-run culture and what kind of social practice grows out from those initiatives.
Historically, artist-run spaces have provided services beyond artistic career development, the maintenance of some sense of alterity, generated innovations and always had an underlying social responsibility at play. For example, artist-run spaces have played a crucial role in providing a platform for identity politics and presenting works that are not shown in larger art institution and by doing so being an important springboard for emerging artists (Wallace, 2012). The main aspects often lacking for people working in the creative field are space, resources and community and these are the things artist-run organizations have created opportunities for. The most important part in this is the making of places for gathering, “thinking together spaces” (Hirsch, Miessen, 2012) for diverse social groups with their own specific needs.
From the Canadian context examples of artists initiatives for certain artistic communities are Women in Focus, a gallery and venue for emerging discourses opposing a larger, sexist, hegemony and concerned with issues of interest to women (O'Brian, 2007); Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, CenterA, that is dedicated to contemporary Asian visual art practices; 221A, a studio space and a gallery, started out as a search for a more horizontal learning environment where all participants could all learn from each other (Cottingham, 2011). Another good Canadian example of an artists’ initiative, set up according to a necessity, is the formation of one of its first artist-run centers Western Front. This Canadian artist-run centre begun as a group of eight artists who wanted to create a space for the exploration and creation of new art forms. The artists knew each other as friends in a relatively small art scene in Vancouver at the early 1970s. The first goal was to create a potential site for artists’ living and working space because all of the artists were in need of stable spaces. They occupied a space that quickly became a center for different artistic activities interested in exploration and interdisciplinary practices and through this developed to one of Canada’s most enduring artist-run centers and a training ground for many young artists, especially those working outside the commercial art market. The space offered possibilities for residencies, common areas, and working spaces where art, life, society, and aesthetics all melded together. Western Front soon got good connections with other similar centers and was able to create a self-supportive milieu of artists, making art as a shared activity, not creating objects within isolation of the studio. What’s most important was the becoming together of like minds who established a space in which to carry out their activities. (Wallace, 2013)
A different kind of example of an initiative by artists, next to earlier developments in Canada is the artist collective Vector Association who started in a post-soviet context of Romania. This experience tells a story of being influenced by the Western models of “contemporary” art but deciding to be oneself in a county recovering from the fall of Communism only some years before. The Vector Association begun to build itself up in a context where nothing was really happening in the arts, where there was no infrastructure, the civic society was underdeveloped, independent initiatives were very weak and the first thing artist had to deal with was the lack of resources and actual knowledge. They started as young students who began to organize the first so-called experimental contemporary art events in the city and the Periferic Biennal for Contemporary Art in the 1990s. The goal was to provide a platform for a range of artistic and institutional initiatives. They came together because of shared interest to develop and think through problems of this post-Communist situation and tried to find a meaning both in to their art and discover their shared identity. Bringing together the different perspectives, approaches, and observations of artists, academics, and philosophers they build a coalition for a purpose to deal with problems in the local scene. Romania is an Eastern bloc country, but also part of the European Union. First they were positioned as a border cultural institution but have for now entered into an expanded, global situation and contextualized their existence in the moment where they are aware that their art is not suspended in a vacuum. (Vector Association, Podesva, 2012)
Initiatives by artists in areas of post-Communism, where societies are still rapidly changing and the need for social transformation seems even more urgent, these kinds of socially engaged practices can be seen as powerful forms of political resistance to the dehumanizing effect of neoliberal policies. (Oncurating.org, 2013) Coming from a similar setting, I have seen in my own practice how self organizing is a good and effective way to react upon various problems in the local scene. In my opinion this critical engagement should start from a grassroots level. In this sense, an artist-run space that builds upon social practice for artists should first of all have have a focus on emerging artist and offer them a practical set of survival skills for a later professional career. This can be done by providing pure exhibition practice and also offering different kinds of workshops, discussions, meetings, collaboration and alternative free form education programs. As Pablo Helguera puts in his book Education for Socially Engaged Art: A Materials and Techniques, social practices is something that can be talked about as an actual practice. The artist is a secret agent in the real world, with an artistic agenda. (Helguera, 2011) This is what a socially engaged artist-run space should do – work in the service of life and start from the exchange of basic knowledge and participation.
In the art community there is always a tendency and a bad reputation of staying in a closed circle. I agree that for art to have a wider social circle it should consciously work with the audience. Next to the topic of building a productive network for the artists and people connected to culture production, there are examples how artist-run centers reach out from the traditional ways of institutions, art programs and exhibition making. To conceptualize the role of artist-run centers today, one must ask how they operate within, parallel to, or outside a larger system. (Sheir, 2007) Organizations that step out from a self-contained art community and institutional ways bring life and art together and set a good model for a socially aware and responsible art organization. Working in the public space and with other social groups, their needs, interests and problems, has become more and more popular over time. Now is the right time to increase the amount of collaboration and work through social and participatory formats that will lead to social practice not being observed as a by-product of artistic production but a medium and material in itself (Bishop, 2012) that makes possible the involvement of others besides the instigator of the artwork (Helguera, 2011). Artist becomes more of a collaborator and producer, the work of art becomes an ongoing or long-term project, and the audience is repositioned as active co-producer or participant. (Bishop) Those post-studio art practices bring forth opportunities to work contextually in a variety of public spheres, including urban environments, social groups, and popular media. Reappropriation of public space by the people, and through the realization of alternative ideas, is the first step in a possible resistance against the totalitarianism of the excesses of capitalism. (Nikolaus Hirsch, 2012)
Making a positive change for artists as a social group is a big step for the whole community. Art is central in helping people to find new ways to see the world and in developing models that integrate and celebrate imaginative thinking, leading to mobilization and effective action. (International Centre of Art for Social Change Vancouver, 2013) Recent developments in art have led to important changes and given ground for a new art community that is socially engaged in every part of their working process. This has bought to forth new forms of exhibitions, working methods and artworks and through this also social change. Hopefully these methods keep growing and find more output in various situations in need for creative reaction.
Bishop, C. (2012). Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. NY: Verso.
Cottingham, A. (2011, May 26). VANCOUVER IS AWESOME. Retrieved from THE OPENING – BRIAN MCBAY AND MICHELLE FU OF 221A: http://vancouverisawesome.com/2011/05/26/the-opening-221a/
Helguera, P. (2011). Education for Socially Engaged Art: A Materials and Techniques Handbook . La Vergne: Lightning Source Inc .
International Centre of Art for Social Change Vancouver. (2013). Retrieved from ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE OF ART FOR SOCIAL CHANGE: http://www.icasc.ca/About_ICASC
Nikolaus Hirsch, Markus Miessen. (2012). What Is Critical Spatial Practice? Critical Spatial Practice 1 . Berlin: Sternberg Press.
Oncurating.org. (2013). Social Curating and Its Public: Curators Fom Eastern Europe Report On Their Practices. Issue #18.
Sheir, R. (2007). Do Artists Need Artist-Run Centres? In M. O. (Ed.), Vancouver Art & Economies. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, Artspeak.
Wallace, K. (2012). Artist-Run Centres in Vancouver. In L. C. AA Bronson, & K. L. Jeff Khonsary, Institutions by Artists: Volume One (Folio Series: C). Vancouver: Fillip Editions.
Vector Association, K. L. (2012). Via Satellite. In L. C. AA Bronson, & K. L. Jeff Khonsary, Institutions by Artists: Volume One (Folio Series: C). Vancouver: Fillip Editions.
The Visitor Vegetable
Kristel Saan'i kureeritud ühe õhtu näitus Skylight Gallery'is (163 E Pender St. Vancouver, BC)
20. november 2014
Kaaskuraator: Andrew Pitchko
Osalevad kunstnikud: Matt Munn, Megan-Magdalena Bourne, Rachel Seburn, Riley Broderick, Saiman Li, Sarah Seburn
Rohkem infot: https://www.facebook.com/events/349988335162256/?fref=ts
100-221 E Georgia St
221A on mittetulunduslik kunstnike poolt juhitud keskus, mis tegeleb näituste, vestluste ja eriprojektide korraldamise, publikatsioonide välja andmisega keskendudes teemadele, mis uurivad disaini rolli kaasaegses ühiskonnas.
Sarnaselt Rundum'ga olid ruumi algatajateks kunstitudengid, kes nägid võimalus uutsorti õppeprotsessiks ja dialoogi initsieerimiseks.
Siin väga hea sissejuhatus nende tekkeloosse: http://vancouverisawesome.com/2011/05/26/the-opening-221a/
229 East Georgia St.
Centre A ehk Rahvusvaheline Kaasaegse Aasia Kunsti Keskus Vancouveris on mittetulunduslik galerii, mis tegeleb kaasaegse aasia kunsti uurimise, produtseerimise, presesnteerimise ja tõlgendamisega.
Keskus on hea näide konkreetsele sihtgrupile keskenduvast kunstiorganisatsioonist.
Rohkem infot: http://centrea.org/
ArcPost on suurepärane veebiplatvorm, mille lõi The Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres (PAARC), et levitada uurimismaterjale, informatsiooni ja muid ressursse, mis seotud kohaliku ja rahvusvahelise artist-run kultuuriga. Veebilehelt leiab artikleid, ajaloolist infot Briti Kolumbia artist-run keskuste tekkimise kohta, rahvusvaheliste artist-run organisatsioonide kataloogi, bibliograafia, infot tellitud kunstiteoste kohta ning audiovisuaalse dokumentatsiooni 2012. aastal Vancouveris toimunud Institutions by Artists konverentsist.
156 East Hastings,
Käsin külas grupil kunstnikel, kes peavad stuudiopinda ja galeriid Avenue ning ajasin juttu ühe asjaosalise Gabi Dao'ga.
Intervjuu transkriptsioon peatselt saadaval.
Seniks rohkem infot siit: