by Beauchamp Art
The Void exhibit was intended to be one of the first independently led exhibition to be held in the Print Landing are of the Student Gallery, and the original theme was the concept of the gallery space and the notion of the Void, and the absence of space, taking inspiration from Brian O’Doherty book ‘Inside the White Cube’, and how that gallery has become the template for most other art exhibition spaces. White walls, minimal framing, nothing to detract from the work. My original proposal partially connected to the pieces I submitted, however, after doing further reading, and discussions with Nicolas, my peer and the organiser/curator of the show, and others, I decided to expand on my original idea of taking something away from a piece; presenting the incomplete form.
In the text piece, ‘Broken Narrative’, I responded to this by writing sentences in black ink onto white fax paper, and hanging them loosely on the wall. The piece as an object was relatively minimal and worthless, and the narrative/story was incomplete, and could not be followed, as if it had been partially forgotten in the process of remembering. Though I believe the concept of presenting a fractured text as art is interesting, I was not particularly pleased with my execution in this instance, and the various preliminary sketches were probably more successful.
The second piece was a more spontaneous response to the ‘void’, and featured empty frames hung on the wall, and one on the floor. The original idea was to invite people to write onto the wall/paper, and to literally comment on the space. However, after seeing other participatory works, I felt this idea was redundant and overly obvious, and getting people to interact was a potential problem. Thus I resolved just to present the empty frames, as an extension of the notion that the modern gallery needs no frames, because the galley itself supposedly frames the piece (however, this is subject to fashion, as the use of hanging works by clips seems to be growing in popularity; a habit carried over from the presentation of illustration works on paper that seem to be currently in fashion).
Furthermore, as an extension of this, I also presented myself as an part of the exhibit, walking around in a suit wearing frames. This performance was entitled ‘Nothing of Value‘, continuing the thought process in the framing of the gallery, as a was as being comment on how I had nothing of value to submit to the show, and how I, as an artist, am nothing of value without producing art.
Overall I believe the show was a success. We had a number of people come to the private view on the Friday, timed to coincide with the Open Studio event, admittedly most of them were peers and friends from the course, but people seemed engaged with the work, and that is the most important aspect to consider when participating in a group exhibition, along with the cohesion of the works.