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.
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.