Text by Angela Darby
The opening of Interplanetary Revolution may feature a cocktail bar, a chorus of ice cream vans, the introduction of another currency and a song by The Factotum Choir that they never quite cracked. Are we the warriors of the Revolution?! Are you? Drawing inspiration from the 1924 Russian propaganda animation of the same name, Interplanetary Revolution is a project that will include at least two new simultaneous group exhibitions and the installation/reworking of another. Looking at failing/ed ideologies; notions of otherworldliness and the uncanny; and revolutionary critique, Interplanetary Revolution will be an opportunity to collapse a few assumptions and undermine previous relationships.
It is planned that parts of the exhibition/s, the artists and/or artworks will change – other elements of the project remain as yet unfinished and may end up never being so. The project will be accompanied by curated or hosted screenings every Thursday evening and most likely a series of lunchtime talks.
The opening of the exhibition will feature contributions by artists and curators, including: Jofroi Amaral, Anonymous, Ursula Burke, Charles Burns, Captain Hate, Martin Carter, Ben Crothers, Colin Darke, Maurice Doherty, The Factotum Choir, Adham Faramawy, The Girls, Gerry Gleason, Laura Graham, Pierre Granoux, Sophie Hamacher, Michael Hanna, Allan Hughes, Brendan Jamison, Brian Kennedy, Rebecca Loyche, Phillip McCrilly, Susan MacWilliam, Kim McAleese, Laura McMorrow, Shiro Masuyama, Jonas Mekas, Ryan Moffett, Brendan O’Neill, Nicolas Provost, Ma Qiusha, Peter Richards, Reynold Reynolds, Erik Mark Sandberg, Gary Shaw, David Sparshott, Clemens Wilhelm. This is a Golden Thread Gallery TBC Project.
Angela Darby caught up with The Golden Thread’s Director and curator, Peter Richards in the lead up to the launch of the exhibition on Thursday 16th February.
AD: You have been planning this exhibition for some time now, how has the project evolved?
PR: I suppose we have been working on the idea for this exhibition for nearly two years now. I think initially the exhibition had sought to weave together the work of international artists with artists in Northern Ireland in a broad looking how at failing/ed ideologies were being portrayed/represented in contemporary practice. I think since its inception the idea has developed to include a reflection on the construct of an exhibition and the nature/role of curation and artists as curators, curators as artists. And as a result some of the original thoughts about artist’s/artworks have changed.
AD: Several of the artists selected are established and have an ongoing relationship with the gallery, could you say what attracted you to the work of the emerging artist in the context of this exhibition?
PR: There are obviously benefits to working with artists whom you have a established relationship with, in terms of understanding/trusting each other – which is really important when asking them for permission to use and experiment with their work – as in the case of this exhibition. I wouldn’t say that we were attracted to emerging artists per se, rather their specific works, and how through these works we could build a sense of the subject of the exhibition. As a gallery, we do go and see as much as we can, as often as we can and we do have a facility for artists to register an expression of interest of working with us, which we regularly review. We’re hoping that some of the artists we have worked with before will become artists that we work with again in the future. On a similar note we are still looking for artworks for the exhibition and will continue to do so throughout the exhibition.
AD: Contained within the publicity material there is a statement that indicates “at least two new simultaneous group exhibitions and the installation/reworking of another.” Can you expand on this?
PR: Good question. Interplanetary Revolution is an exhibition – and in addition to inviting artists to participate in the exhibition; which in some cases means requesting the loan of specific works, in others talking to artists and inviting them to respond to the exhibition with new works (some site-specific, some interventions), I have also invited the artist/curator, Maurice Doherty, to re-create/re-work an exhibition that he curated in Berlin last summer (entitled Revolution) within the context of this exhibition. Having made that decision, I thought it would be interesting to then invite upcoming Belfast based curator, Ben Crothers, to put together his own Interplanetary exhibition also to be included in the show.
Whilst both of these exhibitions will exists as (fixed) exhibitions within or as part of the wider exhibition, the wider exhibition is planned to change throughout the duration of the show. Some works will be moved, others taken away, new works added, new artists approached and other interventions invited, so that return visitors to the exhibition will be greeted with something entirely different. Some of the planned changes are already known and understood – others are very much as yet to be decided.
AD: Does the open-ended construct of the project, in which artworks may change over the course of the exhibition, question the traditional role of the curator?
PR: I think the role of the curator has been debated, researched, scrutinised and questioned to death and back. I’m not sure what questions are left – I just hope that we collapse a few assumptions. I think maybe we’re going back to the “making-strange”.
AD: As a contributing artist how will your own work evolve during the exhibition period?
PR: As the exhibition’s curator I’m not comfortable about having my own work in the exhibition – even though it is as part of Maurice’s reworking of his exhibition – this is still to be confirmed. Similarly I have resisted peer pressure to join The Factotum Choir (aside from the fact that I don’t sing). My work during the exhibition will be to find new work for the show and to keep the exhibition changing. With this in mind, i’m looking to do a few studio visits the end of this week and early next.
Interplanetary Revolution, 16/02/2012 – 24/03/2012, Golden Thread Gallery, 84-94 Great Patrick Street, Belfast, BT1 2LU. www.goldenthreadgallery.co.uk
Aesthetica in Print
If you only read Aesthetica online, you’re missing out. The February/March issue of Aesthetica is out now and offers a diverse range of features from an examination of the diversity and complexity of art produced during the tumultuous decade of the 1980s in Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, opening 11 February at MCA Chiacgo, a photographic presentation of the Irish Museum of Modern Art‘s latest opening, Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection. Plus, we recount the story of British design in relation to a comprehensive exhibition opening this spring at the V&A.
If you would like to buy this issue, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Better yet call +44 (0) 1904 629 137 or visit the website to subscribe to Aesthetica for a year and save 20% on the printed magazine.
Sophie Hamacher, Video still from The Fog (2009)
Clemens Wilhelm, Macht Nichts (2010)
Colin Darke Parodos GTG (2010)
Shiro Masuyama Parky Party (2006)
All images courtesy the artist