Exhibition: Part-I: Preparation Meetings

by Beauchamp Art

Over the course of the term, Nicholas Osborne organised a series of meetings which were designed to culminate in a participatory exhibition, and proved a platform for those who attended to discuss issues surrounding participation in art.
This resulted in the Part-I/Part-You exhibition from  3.11.14 – 21.11.14. featuring the works of Benjamin S. Beauchamp, Filipa Alexandra, Cecily Boon, Kelly Briggs, Nicole Hudson, Elizabeth Loughran, and Joe Williamson; curated by Nicholas Osborne.
However, during the lead up to the exhibition, some members of the group changed, as Henry Driver and Rebecca Liles were originally to be incorporated into the events schedule, however, although their work was displayed simultaneously alongside Nicole’s Parangoles performance, it was not officially part of the collective display. Moreover, Bryony Gifford was involving in some of the meetings, due to the relevance to her own work, and although she did not include a piece or performance in the exhibit, her contribution to other’s work and as part of the meetings should not be overlooked.
Moreover, the members of the discussion group also varied based on the commitments of those involved, however, individual meetings with Nick, and a continued discourse with the group helped sustain the group proactively.


Meeting 1: 14.10.14
The first meaning involved a general overview of ideas and plans for the group. This involve setting out the initial plans to put on an exhibition in the student gallery, which may be followed by a series of events, then possibly could lead to another event outside of the University in the next term. As well as outlining the sustained critical discussion focus of the group, theta may lead to regular talks around key texts, sharif research, and sustained collaborations. The exhibition would also give use the opportunity to experiment with ideas and try out works, practicing exhibition skills in anticipation for the degree show.
We also ran over the groups reasons for being included in the project, giving an overview of what those who attended had planned. Featuring suggestions from Nick, Cecily, Elizabeth, Filipa, Joe, Nicole, and I; essentially the group that participated in the final outcome of this project for the term, excluding Kelly, whose contribution was hear later, and felt in everything orange that followed. I described my resins for being involved was primarily surrounding Spaces of Encounter, and the role of Passive Participation, apathy and anti-interactive participation. From here we organised the next meeting the following Friday, to go over our ideas more thoroughly.
This meeting also followed on effectively from my tutorial earlier in the day, so ideas surrounding a more direct involvement of the audience were already present in mind.

Meeting 2: 17.10.14
With Nick, Elizabeth, Nicole, Kelly, Cecily and Henry in attendance, we discussed the rough ideas we had planned for the exhibit, as well as setting out the exhibition details and dates, as well as what equipment people would need. We agreed on the opening and closing dates of the events, but due to time restrains these had to be move back to the dates we settled on.
Furthermore, we also had a general dialogue on participation, especially in conjunction and opposed to interaction; establishing sense of distinction between the two, in that participation is mutual whereas as interaction is one-sided, though the two may frequently cross over, they can exist separately; they are not mutually exclusive but are distinguishable concepts.

Meeting 3: 27.10.14
At this meeting, we discussed the prospect of assuming a Manifesto from everyone’s contributions, which would be read out by Nick during the opening event. we discussed what concepts could contribute to the manifesto; ideas surrounding the in/exclusivity, antagonism, grades of participation, social tension, the dissolving of media, experience and the political event as different aspects of participation. Furthermore, alongside the group manifesto, it was suggested that we each write some form of artist statement/manifesto that could be contributed to the group, so we each were to send a statement to Nick, which would potentially find its way into a publication, either for this or a later project.
We also settled on making a carrot and coriander soup, as it had to be orange to fit in with Kelly’s DATT theme, and be fairly cheap and easy to make.

Meeting 4: 31.10.14
In this meeting we set out the specific times for setting up on Monday the 5th, and the opening event on the 6th, as well as Elizabeth and Nicole’s performance dates. We also decided upon the arrangements for gathering the ingredients, and cooking the soup at my house prior to the opening event at 5pm. We were to buy the ingredients and bowls in the morning, cook up the soup around lunch time, then I was to reheat it around 4.45pm, to bring it across for the opening. Nick would deliver his speech once we were all at the table, then we would eat the soup. At the closing event, there would be soup and food for everyone else. After finishing the meal, we would each take two of Kelly’s daisy’s and distribute them to the audience, each with a specific instruction. Whilst this was taking place, the full table would be collapsed into a single desk, which Filipa would sit at on side of grating onions, inviting the audience to participate in her piece.
Throughout the event, the iPad displaying my video would be passed around the exhibition, with people exchanging it with one another when a screen displaying the word ‘Share’ would appear. I would also play the role of photographer, although we would use any additional photos taken by everyone else as documentation, and during the meal, which Kelly would abstain from, she would photograph us. People would also be able to engage with the other works that were part of the permanent exhibition; my video on a TV, photos of Nicole’s work, Cecily’s wall of objects, Elizabeth’s recorded instructions, and Joe’s hand piece.
Due to attending and open day at the UEA, I was not going to be able to attend the closing event, Part-You, however, I had my video piece running throughout the week, and had James Snellings from first year dismantle my work and put the equipment in my studio on the closing day.

Meeting 5: 5.11.14
Here, we met in the exhibition space around lunch time, and began to set up the works, deciding whereabouts different people’s work would go, and to run over the events for the following day.
Instillation went smoothly, my equipment worked, as I had tested it previous and transferred the video file to the iPad. Though there was some mild handiwork to be undertaken, and a certain amount of running between floors; the store room, my studio, the staff office, and the estates office; to get various tools, everything was installed successfully.

Meeting 6: 6.11.14
This meeting took place outside of the studio. A number of us met at Duke Street, then headed over to Anglia Square to meet more of the group and buy the ingredients; carrots, fresh coriander, and potatoes; along with the bowls we were to eat from and tubs to transport the soup; as we wanted them to be a matching set (though we had toyed with the idea of sac person bringing a bowl, this proved problematic and disharmonious). Then we headed to my house, met with the rest of the group, prepared the vegetables and prepared the soup. After this was complete, we disbanded, and would meet again at the private view opening around 4.30pm. I would head from university (were I had a tutorial) back to my house, heat up the soup in the microwave, and transport it, and a ladle to the exhibition, were it would be dished up and Part-I commence.

Meeting 7: 24.11.14
We met after the exhibition to discuss future plans for the group. We still intended to put on another exhibition in the future, outside of the university, most probably in a non gallery space, as a means of engaging the public more directly. We have been considering the use of the Forum, or some other public venue. However, as this is the early stages of planning, we set nothing in stone, but will try to organise another event after the winter break. We also set out to make a small publication on participation, submitting texts to Nick for him to conglomerate. And if possible we were to gather feedback in written form, not just as discussion with the group (though this is admittedly the most useful form of group interaction for furthering our practices and the efforts of the group). This was to go towards a booklet or catalogue for a future exhibition.