I have researched a range of different artists and platforms in reference to how I should curate my work. ArtSteps has provided me with ideas of how to use the platform and how other artists have used it. Some of the exhibitions have used the template layout and others have created their own space to place their work. It is clear from this platform that artists have used it for a long time but, it has been more active during isolation. Some student artists have used it as a method of showing their work but assessments. These different styles of exhibition have provided me with an array of examples to work from.
Blog talking about ArtStep exhibitions I have researched into
The artists I have looked at include Yvonne Rainer and Pablo Picasso as reference because they use similar media to create and display their art to what I am hoping to do. Rainer uses a projector to display her work on the wall in the Raven Down Gallery, London. The work is not displayed in a cinematic but on white walls in a boxed area. I felt this curation was very clever and suited the exhibition because by closing it off from the rest of the work, this piece becomes isolated and different from the rest.
Picasso and Paper Exhibition, Pablo Picasso, Royal Academy of Arts, 2020, Film Art
Yvonne Rainer Exhibition, Raven Row Gallery, London, Film Art
‘How to make a great exhibition’ by Paula Marincola references different arguments as to the importance of curation. Some suggest curation becomes part of the artwork and that the relationship between the viewer and the art itself is a key part of the display. Others talk about the importance of exhibitions simply having a purpose of display art and artefacts for viewers to see. These factors, I believe are both important in curation because as an artist who displays their work, the way the viewer engages with the artwork is just as importance as the exhibition being a way of viewing said art.
The drawings I am exhibiting in my work will not be framed because the torn edges are part of the pieces. I have researched into the way Alison Lambert and Williams Kentridge, two charcoal artists I have been using in reference to my art. These artists although not part of the exposure module and the inspiration, they still have a reference to how I should exhibit my work because of the media they use. Referencing these charcoal artists through how they exhibit their work has helped me with mine as a young artist.
As well as these artists, I have researched how hanging art which cannot be framed is the best way to display it. Many small artists have suggested on chatrooms and Pinterest that hanging the art from the ceiling or a beam is a great alternative to fixing it to the wall. Many exhibitions including the ‘Boys at Home’ by Girls Exhibition in the Library Space at Battersea Park is a great example of this. The art would hang just touching the wall or could be hanging in the middle of the space. By hanging art, you are giving the art a floating presence in the room rather than it being fixed to the wall which could give it a stiff harsh feel.
You can see on individual blogs the full details of each artist and one on the ArtStep exhibitions and their relevance to my work and exhibition.
ArtStep is the platform I have used instead for a final show. If I was to have a final show I would have had the three charcoal drawings in a boxed area with white walls (shown below) which is want I chose in my exhibition proposal. I felt this layout meant the audience would stand inside the area and would be surrounded by the drawings. Each drawing imposes a different emotion, anger. irritation and calm. By being surrounded by these emotions would force more power from each drawing and allow the audience to ‘feel’ the work more. As I played around with the layout on ArtSteps, I realised having the drawings on a long wall would create a more imposing effect on the viewer.
Drawings on a long wall
In a boxed area within an exhibition space
In a boxed area
The charcoal drawings are a key part of the exhibition and the original pieces of work I would have exhibited in the end of year show so I felt they should be a dominant part of this virtual exhibition. As I have had the opportunity to create a solo exhibition, I wanted to include more work which reflects the theme. In order, this create the idea of the different parts of the exhibition, I needed to think about the layout, so for the photographs I have create a bay where for them to be displayed. I came across a few other issues once using the platform. When I mounted the drawings onto the wall, they looked as though they were on a canvas. Even after using Photoshop to delete any background I still ended up with a back drop. The torn edges of the paper are part of the artwork and they the mounted effect it didn’t quite give the effect. By enlarging the images I was able to reduce the canvas effect. I played around with frames but it didn’t work for the art. I didn’t want the work to look contained because the torn paper is part of the idea behind the pieces.
The photographs run in an order from the front of the exhibition to the image facing the door which makes the work flow in an orderly manner and for the viewer to understand their reference.
ArtSteps allows me to increase the scale of the images so I can fill the wall from top to bottom. By increase the size of the photographs makes them more impactful. The power of the hands is so strong and relevant in life and so my photographs should reflect this.
The videos on the back wall are a grid of separate screen each with a 20s video of a hand. Originally, I wanted one large screen with a 5 minute film of the movements. However, I was restricted to 4MB per clip. This made me think side ways to breakdown the film however, this worked out for the best because I now have this moving wall of clips which has a bigger impact on the audience because the visual experience is more stimulating and impactful. This is a response I wanted to illicit from my audience. Also, having the videos on small screens, breaks up the work and differentiates it from the large scale drawings and photographs.
After changing the film from a time lapse of myself drawing to a film of hand gestures and researching into different ways artists and curators have exhibited film. I decided to have a sectioned part of the exhibition holding the film. This film would be displayed in a white area on a projector with some seating for the viewers. I attempted to add the film into the program but it was too big so, I have had to play around with the size to bring it down. Even after changing the resolution and quality of the film it still didn’t work. I felt quite disheartened by this job because the film may have been displayed but not to the best quality.
After thinking about this problem and discussing it with family, I decided to break the film down into 12 separate films. In a real exhibition, all of the films would be played on a loop at the same time creating a ‘moving’ wall effect. The image below (left) has had a shot from each short film photoshopped onto the grid to show how the exhibition would look if I was able to play all of the films at the same time. After discovering this curation technique, I found it worked better as it breaks up the exhibition with large and small scale pieces. I have also include an edited film created on Adobe Premiere Pro to visualise how the moving wall would look in the exhibition. (Link below). I found this to be a huge setback on my exhibition because the moving wall of hands is more impactful than just being able to play one film at a time on ArtSteps.
Film Grid (with shots of each film)
I did experience setbacks during this curation but I feel I have dealt with it well and produced a strong exhibition. This problem has allowed me to think outside the box and rethink how I could change and adapt my work to fit the space.
Yvonne Rainer is an artist who I have referenced in my work because of her relevance to my theme and method. Rainer made a hand film which she has exhibited as part of her projects throughout her career.
As a film artist, I wanted to explore how this artist exhibit her film work. I researched her work and came across the Raven Row Gallery in London which has exhibited her work. The website shows her film in the exhibition space played from a projector, on a white table with white walls. Why so much white? The film is in black and white with little contrast. Exhibiting like this gives the film a presence in the space but does not force a strong awareness of the film to the audience. By doing this the audience does not walk into a cinematic viewing for the film and so it is almost as though it is part of daily life. This also means the film is not obvious within the exhibition and yet still a part of it. There are actually two films in this exhibition both within a white back drop. By changing the colour of the walls around the film also changes the concept away from the rest of the work in the gallery so by keeping it the same, keeps the concept in the mind of the audience the same.
After taking photos of my work for ArtSteps, I realised I won’t be able to imply the art to the wall without it being the shape and size of the image including any background. Before Covid-19 the drawings would have been fixed straight onto the wall without a squared off background but attempting this virtually is a lot more difficult.
I have used photoshop to edit out the background however, I still ended up with it being white. When I tried adding it into ArtSteps it looked better than before but, it still made it look square and almost framed. I thought about using frames on ArtSteps to create a border around the drawings but, I felt this would take attention away from the ripped edges and would defeat the objective of them. I found by enlarging the drawings, it helped with this problem but still was not perfect. Unfortunately I am unable to resolve this problem as the only final show I have in virtual.
Edited work with no background
Edited work on wall but still showing a canvas style mount
Although the exhibition I am creating is very much my own, I wanted to look at different examples of artists who have used it as a platform for their work. The program holds a massive range of different styles of working, different genres and even different qualities of curation. By looking through a few of the different examples, I am able to grasp an understanding of how to think about exhibiting my work. I haven’t had the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition and so the space is mine.
I decided to focus my search on drawers, photographers and film exhibitions because these are the media I am considering to have in my final exhibition. By focusing my search to these genres, I am able to decided the best and most effective way to exhibit my art. If I was to research sculptural exhibitions or performance art, it would be irrelevant and not helpful to me.
It is obvious that some of the artists present on this program are not professional artists and clearly use it as a platform to promote their hobbies and amateur doings. I am not ruling these out as irrelevant exhibitions to look at because they to give ideas and methods of exhibiting work. I believe there is no one way to exhibit work and so I need to think about the theme as well as the actual physical work. Some artists have mounted their work into a smaller space so it is more compacted and closer together whereas, others have created bigger spaces to allow room around each piece. Looking through a few of the different exhibitions on here has given me an idea of how the program works and how I can display my work. Looking at the exhibition allows you to walk through it and stand in front of the work to experience it.
The Canadian artist born in 1965 is a contemporary artist known for working with the figure in performance. These performances consist of a collaboration of film, digital editing, prosthetics, audio and a range of different environments.
Brueckner explains in his artist statement which unfortunately is dated back to 2007 but still provides a strong idea of what he explores through his art. Through the film, painting and drawing Brueckner is portraying the human figure in a way which explores gesture and emotion through its movements and stances. In his drawing, Brueckner has created a blurred effect with the pencil by fading out the figure. In the digital work, Brueckner captures the image on a digital camera, manipulates said image on Photoshop and then present the work on paper or on a canvas. The artist goes through a process of combining numerous images and versions of the images and mirroring images together to form collages. These create a repeating pattern which looks microscopic. It is interesting to see the way Brueckner has manipulated the images of the figure which he has taken to form these pieces. It is clear from these that Brueckner is exploring the figure down to the molecular level to truly understand it.
The film art Brueckner has produced has evoked the idea of internal and external journeys the body goes through daily. Through these Brueckner is combining technology with the figure to create what he calls ‘cybrids’. These creations are making that connection between the two phenomenons and provoke responds from the audience about the relation between technology and the figure. Brueckner is the only artist to have explore this idea but, he is the first I have come across which explores it in this way.
From the artist statement, it is clear Brueckner wants to continue explained his knowledge on the subject though his art and continue expanding his body of work. I am fascinated by his work because the way he blurs the images in the film and overlaps raw footage to create his films. This is also evident in his digital imagery work which I think creates an interest still with movement.
I feel his work is very relevant to mine at this current time with the way the artist uses this effect and creates illusions in his work.
When exhibiting my work there are many different aspects I need to think about including the space, the colour and mood, the lighting and where to place my work on the work.
When visiting exhibitions and museums, it is obvious that curators have taken where on the wall to display the artwork. Mostly, it is clear the curation has placed the work at ‘eye level’ which as suggested by the ‘Exhibition Walls Company’ is to ensure the viewing to comfortable in order for the viewer to enjoy the work. Why has art make you feel comfortable? Isn’t that a factor many contemporary artists take into account? Producing art which highlights issues in society such as Ai Wei Wei’s “Names of the Student Earthquake Victims Found by the Citizens’ Investigation, 2008-11 (injket print)” (installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.) and depict one’s through such as Tracey Emin’s My Unmade Bed’ 1997. These are both examples of how art is used to inform but also encourage the viewer to think and emotionally response to the work.
Where the art is hung in the space plays a factor which will alter the depiction on the viewer. This is something I am taking into account with my exhibition before Covis-19 but also with ArtSteps as the alternative.
LARGE SCALE DRAWINGS
Increasing the size of my drawings and photographs on ArtSteps has been a huge benefit for my work. Increasing the size has enhanced the impact on the audience. Along with the small scale films in a grid form and the large scale drawings and photographs, the exhibition has been broken up to form a more diverse show. I decided to increase the size of the charcoal drawings because the images are smaller than the real pieces but, also because the white canvas behind the art was less obvious. This canvas is a problem I encountered when using ArtSteps but I feel have been able to find a solution which does not fix but helps to reduce the problem. Even after editing out the background on Photoshop, I still ended with this canvas. I have had to work with the issue but feel I have still been able to produce a strong submission.
Curating an exhibition is harder than you think. The lighting, positioning, the relationship between the viewer and the artwork and the journey through the exhibition are just a number of the different judgements a curator needs to make. Before placing the work, if not the artist themselves, the curator needs to understand the artwork by reading up on it and talking it through with the artist. Curation has been a degree course since the 1990s where the students are taught the history of art and consequently, how to curate art itself. Curation is not always recognised especially by the generic public as an important part of the art world.
‘How to make a great exhibition’ by Paula Marincola references different arguments as to the importance of curation. Some suggest curation becomes part of the artwork and that the relationship between the viewer and the art itself is a key part of the display. Others talk about the importance of exhibitions simply having a purpose of display art and artefacts for viewers to see. These factors, I believe are both important in curation because as an artist who displays there work, the way the viewer engages with the artwork is just as importance as the exhibition being a way of viewing said art.