Sunday, April 20, 2008

5 collaborations, 5 works

Sue Taylor and Carol Archer, 2007,
mixed media on paper, 30 x 21 cm

Johanna Trainor and Carol Archer
photomedia, 30 x 21 cm, 2008

Suzanne Rawlinson and Carol Archer,
mixed media on paper, 30 x 21 cm, 2005

Mary Grehan and Carol Archer, 2007
mixed media and moth's wing on paper,
30 x 21 cm

Even Mak and Carol Archer, 2006
mixed media on paper, 30 x 21 cm
You are warmly invited to the opening of
Reciprocal Interference Project – collaborative works on paper
Carol Archer (HK), Mary Grehan (Waterford, Ireland), Even Mak(HK), Sue Rawlinson (Sydney, Australia), Sue Taylor (Googong, Australia) and Johanna Trainor (Newcastle, Australia)
Thursday 17 July - 6-8pm
Podspace, 1st floor, 3/231 King St, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Gallery opening times: Wednesday-Saturday 12pm – 5pm

Exhibition runs Wednesday 15 July until Saturday 1 August

Saturday, April 19, 2008

From Maria Lind, "The Collaborative Turn"

"Groups of artists, circles, associations, networks, constellations, partnerships, alliances, coalitions, contexts and teamwork- are all notions buzzing in the air of the artworld. However, cooperation in the art context is by no means new. On the contrary, its genealogy is long and complex, and includes a number of different formats for organising artistic work and its aesthetics. It extends from Rubens and other Baroque artists' hierarchical large-scale studios, which were lucrative businesses, to Surrealists' group experiments, constructivists' theatre projects, Fluxus games and Andy Warhol's pseudo-industrial Factory. It also has been argued that collaboration was crucial in the transition from Modernism to postmodernism, particularly since the advent of Conceptualism in the late 1960s. During the following decade, redefinitions of art tended to go hand in hand with collaborative practices." (16)

"Concepts like collaboration, cooperation, collective action, relationality and participation are used and often confused, although each of them has its own specific connotations. According to the collaboratively-compiled Wikipedia, however, collaboration can be described as follows: 'Collaboration refers abstractly to all processes wherein people work together- applying both to the work of individuals as well as larger collectives and societies. As an intrinsic aspect of human society, the term is used in many varying contexts such as science, art, education, and business.'
'Collaboration' is, as the above definition suggests, an open-ended concept, which in principle encompasses all the others. Collaboration becomes an umbrella term for the diverse working methods that require more than one participant. 'Cooperation', on the other hand, emphasises the notion of working together and mutually benefiting from it. Through its stress on solidarity, the word 'collective' gives an echo of working forms within a socialist social system. 'Collective action' refers precisely to acting together while 'interaction' can mean that several people interact with each other as well as that a single individual interacts with, for example, an apparatus by pressing a button. 'Participation' is more widely associated with the creation of a context in which particpants can take part in something that someone else has created but wherethere are, nevertheless, opportunities to have an impact" (17) .

"...But the result then? Does it make any differecne if diverse forms of artistic collaboration lie behind an artwork or another kind of cultural production? Is collaboration a 'better' method which produces 'better' results? The curatorial collective What, How and For Whom has a clear explanation for choosing collaboration as a method: the motivation to collaborate is that it would otherwise not take place;it simply has to make possible that which is otherwise impossible" (29).

Maria Lind, "The Collaborative Turn" in Johanna Billing, Maria Lind and Lars Nilsson (eds), Taking the Matter into Common Hands: On Contemporary Art and Collaborative Practices . London: Black Dog Publishing. 2007.