Firstsite: Visit, Proposed Idea, Documentation
by Beauchamp Art
After the visit to the Firstsite gallery in Colchester, I have had time to think over the space and reflect on the potential outcomes for day of activities and events on the 7th of May.
Rather than using the main exhibition and gallery spaces within Firstsite, for the show we have access to the Entrance, Auditorium, a Meeting Room, Learning Space, some of the Corridor spaces, and the Café; and the outside courtyard – essentially, all the typical non-gallery spaces.
Having seen the spaces available, and hearing that the brief was relatively open ended, though it was suggested that works were to be relating to the location so that the day of activities was unique, I decided that the blackboards in the Learning Room B was a good location, with some interesting opportunities. That, and the large (4K) screens seems like useful resources that I would not usual have access too and would provide a interesting portal and platform form my work, as well as allowing me to try something beyond my usual practice; combining my various media interests to form a very strong work.
However, although I would like to produce a piece that demonstrates a range of skills in a critically engage and audience-activated format, I realise that there are technical limitations and support for the space. As we shall only have an hour or so to set up, and a similar amount of time to take down the work after the public leave at the end of the day, then the complexity of installation must be taken into consideration
The piece I am proposing for Firstsite is a video-installation-interactive-drawing-performance piece. This will involve a rapid show-reel of images taken from Google, under the search term ‘Colchester’ which will be blurred together forming a falsely fluid film, much as I did in ‘Opticon’ and the ‘Cultivator’ films. This will be displayed on a large TV screen in front of a blackboard, onto which I will intermittently undergo a large automatic drawing in response to the images on the screen, and inviting members of the audience to attempt to draw what they see in the film, surrounding the screen in abstract shapes.
If it is possible, I would also like the video to be displayed at the entrance on the overhead video screens, though I could provide a slowed-down version of the video to counteract the problem of the flashing images; so that the work is saturated throughout the exhibition.
It is designed to be a temporary piece that is site-specific to both Firstsite and Colchester, in regards to the source material and where is produced; with the presence of the artist and involvement of the audience paramount to the success of the work – an opportunity that may not always be available to me in future exhibitions (besides at small private views or with peers) and will allow for direct feedback from the viewership, which could be useful for evaluating the success of the piece within the exhibition.
For this, I will require: a slightly darkened area, one of the Televisions, a media playing device (DVD player), the black boards, and enough chalk to sustain long periods of drawing.
Overall, I think this will be a good opportunity to produce some strong, high-quality work, though I will have to negotiate the use of space and material with my fellow exhibitors and discuss ways of resolving problems that may arise with the gallery, university staff, and the curator(s).