An assistant is a person (or by extension a device) that helps another person accomplish their goals

Bearspace in association with Peer Sessions, presents an exhibition project entitled The Assistant. From 14th-29th May and 4th-19th June exhibitions will pair up an emerging artist, who will create the artwork, with an established artist who will instruct them. 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. This blog contains updates on their progress whilst a parallel page collects discussions around the idea of being an assistant and stories shared by other 'assistants' across the arts.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Assistant Part 2 - Update

Blue's work in progress

Update from Blue on the preparations for his forthcoming Assistant show:

"Sorry, yes, blogging or keeping you posted are obviously not my strength.

Well, Gordon and I finally got together today to start work on the assistant and I guess the first thing that I had to get over was that Gordon is insistent that he impose no specific rules on what I do! I wanted some parameters - or expected (based on the proposal of the project) some - within which to operate, but he doesn't work that way and so therefore doesn't expect someone else to have to either. He's interested in talking about the making and letting that happen rather than directing it or controlling it (to poorly paraphrase him).

It was a relief that I had no rules to impinge upon my practice but at the same time a frightening prospect that I would have free-range to produce a show. He was surprised that I had no solid idea of what work I would put in the show, but I had locked myself off from thinking too much about it on my own and was awaiting the initiation of this joint thinking effort. I joked that I was hoping that I would at least have him to blame if things went tits up!

work in progress

So after about an hour of discussing what we each thought our roles were supposed to be in this project, we turned to the work I am currently producing in the studio. I've included a few quick snaps for what their worth to you. We had a good session sorting through what I might want to do for the show. He challenged the concise and beautifully finished nature that most of my sculptural forms take and asked if it might not to be a consideration to somehow show a work when it is in looser initial stages. For me it just felt like I would then be producing something which would be intentionally arrested in its development to be shown as a final product would therefore be contrived in my mind - but I would consider what that could mean in the context of this show.

Apologies. I feel I am missing out the bulk of 3.5 hours of conversation we had culminating in lunch at the local chippie, but wanted to tell you that my head has been set straight on what my responsibilities are in the project and am on it! We will see each other again next week to discuss where some of the ideas for work for the show have taken me".

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