Students Staff

28 June 2013

Show opens at Art Exchange and Slack Space

(Im)material Labour, a two-part exhibition supported by Arts Council England is now open at Art Exchange and Slack Space in Colchester simultaneously.

Curated, produced and organised entirely by Curating students as part of their course assessment, the annual MA exhibitions are a regular feature of Art Exchange’s programme.

(Im)material Labour explores shifting social positions and changing patterns of working behaviour in contemporary society.

Curator Matylda Taszycka is a visiting student from the Ecole du Louvre and is delighted by the professional training the process is providing.

She said: “Organizing (Im)material Labour is an excellent professional exercise. We are responsible for the whole process of preparing the exhibition, which includes formulating the initial proposal; finding associates and exhibition spaces; raising funds for our project; looking for sponsorship; writing texts and press releases; organizing talks; and resolving technical problems.”

Asked what is the most exciting part of the project, she replied:
“Collaboration with living artists in order to produce new artworks for the show seems to be the most exciting part of the process. However, it also requires good mutual understanding, trust and control of the budget!”

Seeking to decode and humanise the financial crisis through analytical ideas and research, the artworks on display often result in therapeutic and humorous outcomes. Having received a prestigious grant from the Arts Council plus extra funding from the Essex Fund, Art Exchange and the Centre for Curatorial Studies, the exhibition will take place simultaneously at Art Exchange until 1 July and at Slack Space in Colchester until 20 July.

The site specific work at Slack Space is designed with the experience of the audience very much at the fore. “Organising an exhibition makes us realize that an interesting idea and excellent artworks do not guarantee a successful show at the end. But the show is shaping up to be very successful, with a nationally significant grant from the Arts Council in hand, a lot of attention is being drawn to the exhibition.

“The positive response from such a prestigious institution as Arts Council England was very rewarding for our curatorial team. We are very proud we could receive their funding. Nevertheless, the openness and availability of the artists we invited to participate in our show is probably the most satisfying part of the process so far.”

The first exhibition titled Refractive Distance brought together international artists who use art to destabilise common views of the world through canny use of illusion and scale. A mixed media exhibition it features film, photography, sound art and installation and ran until 22 June at Art Exchange.

Course director Dr Michaela Giebelhausen said the MA exhibitions are an “invaluable opportunity” for the students.

She said: “We're trying to replicate the real work environment of gallery and museum work as closely as possible. Students are producing a real show in the University gallery Art Exchange with real works and real budgets, and all the real problems that process entails.

"Students are encouraged to think critically about the display of works of art and also master every step from planning to realisation of their exhibition project. The devil is often in the detail. A good exhibition is one that wears all that behind the scenes work lightly, one that delights and informs.”

More information about both exhibitions and their accompanying programmes of talks and tours can be found at the Art Exchange website

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