writing with Pia

A practice led research in the arts that focuses on the sovereignty of the artist in the context of exhibition practice

I am going to pretend now that this writing will be an essay. Or a part of an essay, and the whole website we are making is the essay. Actually, a reader navigating through the website reads and in that way edits what can be her or his version of the essay. But I still have to pretend that this writing will be an essay, otherwise I won’t write it.

The idea of the ‘online publication’ or ‘an essay of sorts’ came from a need to put things together, to have something solid from all the promises, predictions and try-outs within the research project Archiving Artistic Anxieties. But that solidification would be in contradiction to what the project stands for. This resistance provoked the idea of making the whole website the essay, and readers as editors.

I am going to pretend now that this writing will be an essay. And I can not pretend all the time, or I can not pretend all the time if I am the only one pretending. It just becomes very boring. We are writing this together in a way – we are pretending together. Once, I invited some friends over to see my collection. Also, I do a card-reading about artistic anxieties. Or we pretend we are going to do a horror workshop. Oh no, now this writing sounds like another of my performance/readings texts. This is absolutely no problem, right? I guess not. You see – I am pretending. Those texts used to be better in the beginning, later they became self-concerned and Who needs another woman talking about her problems with art? and Just do it, you just have to do things not talk about them!
I mean you and me both know why this text is useful, so why doubt it? I wonder if we could link it to the concept of ‘wearing out’ from Carla Lonzi. Lonzi firmly believed in the need of ‘wearing out’ cultural norms and relationships that shape how we perceive ourselves. For Lonzi, writing is one place where these ties can be unmade.

The question is then, how do you share your struggles and concerns so the others trust you? Sometimes it seems to me that you are allowed to expose vulnerability only if you deliver successful results in the end. Ok, this is definitely not an essay introduction. Or it could be, the concerns are legitimate, this is not a definitive publication.


Analysing exhibition as a dynamic structure, from the position of the artist, displacing the artwork to bring focus on artistic activities

This essay will start again, as a report on activities and formats that aimed to explore a generative tension of – exhibiting ambiguous distinctions between practice and theory, theory and confession, documentation and production, artistic and curatorial, oral exchange and artistic form – as a potential to constitute new modes and methodologies of researching in public.

Two years ago, I wrote: “This research proposal begins from the position of certain artistic practices that are left powerless and stifled when faced with today’s art system. The artistic efficiency and a prolific practice, as well as a commercially viable one, are not only revering the art market, but reinforcing it with its ability to adapt to trends seamlessly and reproduce itself with what seems like the only objective: economic and cultural consumption.

(to be continued…)