This blog is part of a research project and art exhibition at Bearspace entitled the Assistant, it collects together discussion and stories around the idea of artist's assistants and arts internships to build a discourse around the exhibition itself. For more on the exhibition click here. To read the entries collected as part of this project read on or submit your own story here.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Lunchtime seating arrangements
An assistant's story from RP
i work in an art making studio in london. we don't solely work for artists, there's museums and theatre, but mainly artists. Every year I have to sign a confidentiality form, so that way I cannot post any photographs of the work I’m doing and most of all, who I am working for. Some artists are very particular in not wanting people to know they don’t make their own work. Some will actually thank the studio and all the people involved, in the exhibition catalogue. These are big artists with big projects, I’m talking turbine hall and recent RA retrospective material. But not all artists are the same. Some you won’t see until the polishing is finished. We get instructions and plans from one of the studio directors that have previously met with the artist. There was actually one of these artists that would have his personal assistant come down to the studio and photograph everything we were doing because he would have anxiety attacks if he went there himself. Things look pretty rough in the making but come on! Some other artists are actually interested in the making of their own work. They will go to the studio on a daily basis, talk to you and even work alongside. These are a very rare and appreciated kind.
Personally, I don't think artists should have to make their work, especially if it goes beyond their skills. I am not in any way offended by doing what I do, and I get paid, relatively well and regularly. This allows me to have my own studio and make my own art work, and even use the studio’s equipment to do it.
It is always fun to go and see the exhibition of “your” work and have invigilators saying things like, please don’t stand so close and don’t touch the artwork. Dude, last week I was having lunch sitting on it!
The Assistant 1 & 2- Reflections
To wrap up The Assistant 2010, some reflections were sought from the
participants. More information on The Assistant 2011 will follow in due
7 years ago
Submit your Assistant Story
click here to submit your assistant story
Bearspace gallery in Deptford, London, in association with peer sessions, is pleased to present an exhibition project entitled
the Assistant starting in May 2010. Each exhibition will pair up an emerging artist with a more established artist who will then enter into a dialogue in order to produce the exhibition. The established artist will send the emerging artist, or assistant, a list of rules one month prior to the exhibition opening, rules which will detail how the established artist wishes the work to be created and/or installed. The emerging artist, as assistant, is presented with the possibility of following to the letter the instructions they are given or subverting and undermining them, inserting or overwriting their own ideas and work into the final exhibition.
The Assistant aims not only to explore the practices of both artists through this process of exchange, but also to widen this examination in order to examine ideas around the arbitrary, hierarchical categories into which market convenience delineates creative practice. The exhibition seeks to explore and potentially deconstruct these classifications of 'emerging' and 'established' artist and to interrogate the role of 'the assistant' more widely by interacting with range of creative practitioners who have undertaken work in an assistant capacity.
The project seeks to question ideas around the construction an exhibition in order to examine the processes an exhibition may go through before it is finally realised, the aim is to present the secret life of the exhibition, beyond the specifically defined limits of its opening times. Exhibitions are events which often conceal moments of interest, intriguing processes, iceberg-like away from the public gaze. In order to explore such a line of enquiry this blog will accompany the exhibition, exposing the original lists of rules, information about the artists along with documentation of the process of exchange and decision making that has led to the creation of the work. The project will also invite contributions from the public and a wider community of creative individuals to explore alternative experiences and interpretations of being an assistant which are recorded here.
Along with the exhibitions and blog, a public discussion event, a publication and a screening of video created in response to a similar set of rules will form parts of the project. Stay tuned for call outs!
Peer sessions is a not for profit group set up by recent Goldsmiths fine art masters graduates to provide support and mentoring to those embarking on their careers in the arts through peer critique, discussion and gallery visits.