Thanks to some speedy smooth talking from Sofia, the works were released from customs in the nick of time.
Not being on site to participate in the install, opening and general shenanigans was much harder than I expected.
To help make up for it, I had my own personal opening celebration here in Wellington with a good friend over bubbles and oysters – sending remote ‘Cheers’ to the crew through the air waves.
Loved getting a pic back from the girls knocking back the Swedish version of the German Chantre (yes there are stories behind that!) at their informal after party.
It was a few weeks after the opening before I finally got to see images of the works as displayed.
Thanks to Sofia for these ones.
This email to Sofia explains in more detail the idea I wanted to explore through the Platina show.
In a nutshell, I was curious about what happens when works get released into a new environment and which individual works survive and which (because they are not so well adapted to their new environment) may be destined to become endangered/extinct (survival of the fittest).
To do this I proposed:
- Sending Sofia all the works from Objectspace, plus some new ones that I had made since (the species vying for survival)
- To get Sofia to select the pieces for exhibition (the ones that survive in the Platina environment)
- To interview Sofia after the fact to learn more about her decision processes (to understand more about the environmental forces at play)
The above photos show which pieces Sofia selected, and here are her responses to the specific questions that I posed to her afterwards…
Why did you select the works that you did? To open your boxes was like a Christmas gift- there were so much and interesting pieces. Even if I had seen images, its never the same. Some of them very secret and I had to activate my mind. The more I looked at them the more came to me, as it normally does. I did a fast first choice. And then I decided a table to display them. Without thinking I arranged them as I thought they speak to each other. Then my colleague Agnieszak came and we started to discuss what we thought came first and then after one another, which ones played together and which ones not.
We long discussed the Styrofoam balls and in the end we chose not to add them in. Instead we chose to show the pieces where we could see and more easy understand the play with shadows. Reason to that is when the audience ask us, we feel more secure when we can tell them what we see in the work. It doesn’t mean that they have to think the same as we do, but more of a guidance into the work and process.
Why did you display the works as you did? Me and Agnieszka played around whit the pieces and during the exhibition period, the pieces have been moved around. We allowed some visitors to change order. Hope you think that was ok.
What sort of reaction there has been to the work – were people drawn to any specific pieces? Most of the reactions have been on when they have a look and notice that the pieces displayed have connections to each other. We are used to see singular objects on tables and I guess they were positive surprised to see the similarities. Most of the talking have been about Handshake as a project and not on the individual artists’ projects and when it came to your work, I think that the process was more shown than in the others work. Therefore also the questions about the project in the whole.
Any other comments? Maybe you can think of what you would like to show to your audience. Is your aim to talk about the process or do you want to show pieces? A normal audience spend short time on each work and if it’s too difficult for them, they leave. It’s one thing if I am there and talk with them, but when leaving them alone they might shall have an easier entrance to your world. Think about it!
All great food for thought, and something I will certainly be mulling over in the lead up to my upcoming Bowen Galleries show (December) – which represents a great opportunity to experiment with alternative approaches.