Monday, February 14, 2011


Notating my comings and goings every day on the window of Alterations, has prompted some questions about what it means to be ‘in residence’.

At this point, the only things to be seen in the gallery space are the notes on the window, marking my attendance - or lack thereof, and, when I am in the space, my physical presence as well as the video camera which is occasionally recording.

Is to be a resident to inhabit a space? Is being visibly present important? Or rather is being present, in this case, a stand in for the production of an object? Where the time spent being ‘in residence’ becomes the product? This seems to link in with the idea of an artistic product taking the form of (a process of) research, as you, Andrea, alluded to with reference to Simon Sheikh’s essay. Or in this case perhaps also the process of observation (which may in itself be a kind of research).

Sheikh’s suggestion of “art as a place ’where things can happen’ rather than a thing ‘that is in the world’” seems apt for this situation, where the potential of events and encounters occurring through a presence in, and observation of, the space becomes the basis for the project. I’m also interested in Sheikh’s reference to unproductive time, as something which must be maintained alongside production to create “spaces for thinking” (if I’ve understood him correctly).[1] How this kind of intangible practice can become visible is something I’m interested in. Is it merely a matter of framing? In this case through notation and blogging? And, is it enough? 
I think most people from the street aren’t inclined to enter or engage with the gallery or project directly, it’s merely something which happens alongside their everyday paths and routines - though the signage does get some curious and bemused looks. I wonder if this situation, so typical of almost all art spaces, can or should be changed in any way?

[1] Simon Sheikh, Objects of Study or Commodification of Knowledge? Remarks on Artistic Research, in Art and Research, Vol. 2. No. 2. Spring 2009, p.6, retrieved 12 February 2011, available from <>.

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