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, 25 May 2010

the Assistant Part 2 - Update

Blue's work in progress

Update 2 from Blue on the preparations for his forthcoming Assistant show:

"I admit I'm not doing much heady thought about the assistant but rather just getting on with work that could potentially be shown. I was telling Julia [BEARSPACE director] that my response to 'no rules' and the idea that we are on an equal footing and that I'm not his assistant is to turn him into the 'assistant'.

He asked me if I would show unfinished or less polished work and I said that I don't know how I would do that as unpolished would would be the new goal I'd be working towards and therefore it still wouldn't have that authentic unfinished/unpolished look I think he was wanting to see. I would probably polish even work that is supposed to be unpolished or, in consciously deciding when a work would be in a good unfinished state to show, kill any of that energy of process that I think he was enjoying when he was in my studio.

So I'm thinking I'll keep working as I am and then during the week of the exhibition ask him to pay a surprise visit, interrupting me, and pick the things in my studio he thinks he can make an exhibition of and perhaps let him arrange the pieces in the gallery. It is true that I'm a bit of a control freak and would never just show unfinished stuff or let an installation get out of my hands ... but this idea could be a way that I actually get something out of the process. Sorry, coffee hasn't kicked in for the morning and I may not be making myself clear ... but the idea is that I have made some work and I hand the gloves over to him to make it into a 'show' in whatever form he sees it working. I guess this idea can only work if we have the time that week to do this. I like the idea that I would walk in and not have a clue what he may have done with the work. I could deliver the things that he suggests to the gallery and if he has a day that he can come in to set it up this could work.

I haven't promoted the show to my contacts yet, but if we get that going we can pull a rabbit out of a hat next week and it will all come off just fine".

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