I’m currently taking part in a residency in London…in the square mile City of London. It seems like an unlikely site for art production, which is what I find so interesting of course. Members of altMFA, a peer-led, alternative Masters course, and students form the RCA Sculpture course have been invited to take part in this residency and make work responding to an extraordinary empty office space in the city. Thank you to Departure Foundation for making this space available to us.
At first glance this large white walled space may seem like a white cube gallery space with a grey floor but you come to realise that the atmosphere is really quite different. The dimensions of the space are rather oppressive since the ceilings are so low. If it contained the standard office partition walls, the sensation would be far more familiar but the vast swathes of carpet tiles and ceiling tiles exaggerate the strange horizontals of the space. As you walk around on your own, the lights illuminate the path you take around the room.
You become aware of the volume of the air-conditioning system and the strange grumbling bangs emanating from the gym below. Navigating the space which initially seems to be a nothingness, you slowly become aware of the features of the space. I have been investigating these, as this empty office heightens your powers of observation.
We will be having several events in the space on Thursday evenings every fornight. The first is this Thursday, entitled Tactics and Strategies. It would be great if you could come along to experience our initial responses to the space.
Join us to celebrate the first in a series of exhibition events at the OPEN PLAN project space near Bank.
OPEN PLAN – Strategies and Tactics
An evening of sculpture, performance, print and video work.
Thursday 7th February 2013, 6 – 9pm
55 Gracechurch Street London EC3V 0EE
Strategies and Tactics is the first in a series of one-night exhibition events at OPEN PLAN – a collective project space led by students from The Royal College of Art Sculpture Department and students from peer-led, alternative Masters course AltMFA.
Robert Cervera Amblar, Louise Ashcroft, Gwen Bajon, Neela Basu, Stefania Batoeva, Alex Chalmers, Petr Davydtchenko,
Roberto Ekholm, Fritha Jenkins, Egg Johnson, Sun Lah, Catriona Leahy, Fiona Long, James Murison, Neringa Plange,
Peter Shenai, Jason Thomson, AnnaMaria Kardos, The Equivocator (Mandi Goodier, George Major, Maru Rojas) and more…
Michel de Certeau’s concepts ‘strategy’ and ‘tactic’, as theorised in his text The Practice of Everyday Life, provide starting points for this event which brings together a series of new works by artists involved in the project.
“Michel de Certeau links ‘strategies’ with institutions and structures of power who are the ‘producers’, while individuals are ‘consumers’ acting in environments defined by strategies by using ‘tactics’. In the influential chapter ‘Walking in the City’, Certeau asserts that the city is generated by the strategies of governments, corporations, and other institutional bodies who produce things like maps that describe the city as a unified whole. Certeau uses the vantage from the World Trade Center in New York to illustrate the idea of a synoptic, unified view. By contrast, the walker at street level moves in ways that are tactical and never fully determined by the plans of organizing bodies, taking shortcuts in spite of the strategic grid of the streets. This concretely illustrates Certeau’s argument that everyday life works by a process of poaching on the territory of others, using the rules and products that already exist in culture in a way that is influenced, but never wholly determined, by those rules and products.” – Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_de_Certeau, 01/02/13.
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