Coupling
Red Planet

Otherness, But of Course

Are you an artist based in Sheffield and in search of exposure and public funding? Of course you are. This will be thrilling news, then. Especially if you’re an artist “whose practice is felt to have a close relationship to the contextual framework” hinted at below:

Over the last year, international curators Annie Fletcher and Frederique Bergholtz have been working with curators in Sheffield to discuss ideas and to programme Art Sheffield 10. The context for this event involves looking at artists’ practices which are concerned with the idea of ‘affect’ – including care ethics, affective labour (domestic or caring labour which involves the production of affects such as ease, well-being, care, satisfaction, pleasure and so on), ideas on the politics of friendship and corresponding notions of otherness and the marginal.

I’m sure “care ethics, affective labour” and “corresponding notions of otherness and the marginal” are gripping subject matter, at least for an undergraduate socio-political thesis. Or for arts funding applications, with which such things may sometimes be confused. But are ruminations on “affective labour” and “the politics of otherness” really in demand as themes for a publicly funded city-wide art festival? Is that what punters want, and artists, and taxpayers? And if so, just how festive will it be?

Other curatorial efforts by Fletcher and Bergholtz include If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution, a “continuing exploration of paradigms such as theatricality and feminism(s).” According to the project’s helpful mission statement, “If I Can’t Dance… works along the systematic of collaboration. Each edition, defined by a certain field of investigation, engages a set of partners and unfolds along a travelling trajectory.”

The good people of Sheffield must be very excited.

(h/t, Dr Westerhaus.)

Comments

Baltar's Beard

Aargh.

Geoffrey

Albert Pierrepoint the famous English hangman was married to a woman named Annie Fletcher. I wonder if there is any relation between her and this Annie Fletcher.

David

Well, the “contextual framework” does have a certain… deadening quality, in that it sounds more like a socio-political platform than an aesthetic endeavour. But maybe artists will be inspired to new heights by “domestic or caring labour” and “notions of otherness and the marginal.” I mean, it just screams “festival” and visual ravishment.

AntiCitizenOne

How about an Arts festival featuring things taxpaying people want to see?

Perhaps too radical?

Maybe you could even judge the successfulness on how many saw it?

Anna

"...works along the systematic of collaboration. Each edition, defined by a certain field of investigation, engages a set of partners and unfolds along a travelling trajectory."

Is Carolyn Guertin here?

carbon based lifeform

This is why I quit art school and got a proper job.

Franklin

"whose practice is felt to have a close relationship to the contextual framework"

Satan speaks in the passive voice.

Would someone please edify an American on the use of "punter" in this context?

David

Carbon,

“This is why I quit art school and got a proper job.”

I’d guess you’re not alone in that. The assumption that art should necessarily be “about” something – that it should have some textual or socio-political validation - is off-putting for any number of reasons. And given the generic nature of textual validations, there’s a suspicion that those who apply may be judged in part on their political sensibilities and willingness to theorise in the customary manner.

Franklin,

Punter: “Customer; member of audience. Or a prostitute’s client.”

TimT

Ha, as if festivals were about being festive! From my (thankfully not extensive) experience with the Australian festival going experience, it mostly seems to be about two or three people sitting on a stage, and talking to one another about boring topics. Then they go off and sign books.

David

“Ha, as if festivals were about being festive!”

Looking through the press release mailed to artists, there’s a great deal of emphasis on The Superstar Curators, and on discussion, on talking about themes, talking about contextual frameworks, and “looking at artists’ practices.” I hate to sound cynical – really, I do – but I’m reminded of Brian Ashbee’s observation: “This is not art to be looked at; this is art to talk about and write about. It doesn’t reward visual attention; it generates text.”

Given the loaded and restrictive “contextual framework,” I’m inclined to wonder if this particular art festival is more concerned with exposition than with making things that are visually compelling and, dare I say it, beautiful.

Dr. Westerhaus

What I found most interesting is that there seems to be no mechanism to 'apply' at all, but that one will be 'chosen' to participate, based on the criteria supplied and one's ability to function and produce work within that criteria (I wish I could italicize here!). Given the contextual nature of the project is so specific and predetermined, and the selection process so mysterious, I can't help wondering what the 'function' of this event actually is?

Anna

"I can't help wondering what the 'function' of this event actually is?"

Free money? :)

AntiCitizenOne

Parasitism is the correct term for "free money", someone extorted it for the benefit of these "artists".

Threat-funded art is always politically left as it (and the "artists") wouldn't exist without it.

Rob

There's obviously no waste in public expenditure. None at all. Continue investing!

The comments to this entry are closed.