Ritual in the Nature of Cooperation

‘The Artist as Artist as Curator as Collaborator’ – Clare Goodwin (curating around practise/collaborative projects).

What lies behind offering the gift? Is The gift more about cultural or capital status?

The ideal of the ‘individual’ was born in renaissance. It was a workshop so you would have an assistant who would mix your paint for you. But this isn’t a collaboration because you have servants, whoever signs the painting is the master so they get the credit. This happens nowadays because Damien Hurts, Phia De Barlo ask someone to do things you can but still have the authorship of the work which changes the dynamic of collaborative work. Collaboration – Marinia Abramovic is another good example of this exploitation, although she worked with Ulay he is unrecognised in her performance pieces. Although without his presence the work would function, she is accredited.

‘Rest Energy’ 1980 by Abramovic and Play

As an individual artist there is an argument that you can only access a limited resource, confound by your own mind and condition. Working in collaboration could be suggested to unlock new ways of visualising and pushing boundaries.  This brings to question at what point are you collaborating officially? Many ideas circulate around the art work, and beyond this in adverting, film, music and conversations which are drawn upon in influencing artist. Meret Oppenheim’s ‘object’ on a fur tea cup and saucer was the product on a conversation with Picasso in which he suggested anything could be covered in fur, sparking the idea for the piece. Oppenheim took all the credit for the piece, however, this could arguably been unjust considering Picasso’s role.

‘Object’ Paris, 1936 by Meret Oppenheim


Interestingly at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchesteran Exhibition on ‘South Asian Modernists’ has been curated in celebration to the Partition between India and Pakistan. This act is celebrated despite it being orchestrated by the British Colonial Army, causing huge devision and murder across the land. The work doesn’t actually discuss what’s happened but seemingly celebrates independence. Here’s an example of when historical facts have been concealed so that the art work in the exhibition can be ‘enjoyed’ on an aesthetic level, without confronting the responsibilities of our colonial past. This covering/ concealing of history is something which really fascinates me in my own practise. I defiantly want to investigate historical events in my work.

‘Palace Gate’, 1959 by Anwar Jalal Shemza showing at Whitworth Exhibition.

Some artists we discussed:

  • Sophie Call – lived as a house maid in a hotel. She compiles info through notes e.t.c she registered how her relationships were between herself and her interaction with those visiting the hotel by recording what they left behind. She is a surrealist and dada artist who’s work becomes auto-enthnographic (almost obsessively about herself). This talks about the notion that we are present not just in our body but also in the objects which surround us.

    ‘The Hotel, Room 47’ 1981 by Sophie Calle. Presented by the Patrons of New Art through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1999 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P78300
  • Clair Goodwin’s curation of ‘Museum of the Unwanted’ Zug 2015  featured artists who uses the unwanted either directly or conceptually. It was a readymade space so had to be careful about where to place work. ‘Unwanted’ questions if these pieces are important but they were all pieces which were on loan from artists. They couldn’t buy any of the work as it belonged to different galleries. http://www.huberhuber.com/exhibition/-the-museum-of-the-unwanted/



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