In January 2020 we had a two week residency at de Fabriek in Eindhoven.
Together with all 4th year students from the Fine Art department we took over de Fabriek.
We were challenged to work together with 45 students and our collective mindset really paid off.
In collaboration with a peer, I created an overarching system in which everyone was invited to participate.
This system was an experiment to challenge the idea of an exhibition.
We used a big architectural element were de Fabriek is known for: A big basement and similarly big open space on the ground floor. With all the students we made a collective agreement to produce the works downstairs and experiment with them upstairs.
Downstairs we created a depot were all the works were collected that would run in the system. Everyone had to add a form to their work with the name of the work and the artist.
So the system I created used works of others.
Visitors were only allowed upstairs so they were not able to experience how the works were created or what the depot looked like.
The participants (peers) were divided into little groups, these groups had to rotate to the next role every 5 minutes after hearing the trumpet signal. Every group ‘travels’ with the work from one role to the next. The little form had to stay with the corresponding work at all times. So the visitors were able to read the title of the work and the name of the artist.
The roles were all based on different aspects of an exhibition:
Role 1: Choosing a work from the depot to go upstairs.
Role 2: Carrying the work upstairs.
Role 3: Deciding were and how a work should be placed (possibly together with human pedestals from role 4).
Role 4: Human pedestal (they could function like a true pedestal or as a performer for the work, it was all up to role 3).
Role 5: Human pedestal 2.
Role 6: Changing a work in the exhibition.
Role 7: Taking the work downstairs, back to the depot with the corresponding form.
It was a very dynamic system which allowed participants to use their creativity although it was based on very strict rules and regulations (for instance where everyone had to wait, or that there had to be no contact between participants and visitors).
For the participants (who were also the artists of the works), it was very interesting to see how peers handle and curate their artworks.
The visitors experienced a very dynamic exhibition because works (dis)appeared or changed every 5 minutes.