This exhibition is primarily focused on a critical engagement with issues surrounding the concept and constructs of an “Opening” or celebratory event surrounding an exhibition of creative work. A Record of Events looks to generate a creative dialogue focused on the experience of an opening event from an artist’s perspective. These events are often conflicting and challenging moments for the artists involved in creating the work for which the “Opening” is held for. The public is often unaware of the artist’s exhaustion in preparation for the exhibit, the anxiety of interacting with family, the public or other artists, the apparent respect or disrespect given towards the work or the artist’s themselves and also the sometimes darker side of the capitalist motivations of the institutions that are holding the exhibitions and money generating “openings”.
A Record of Events aims to challenge participants to reassess the ways in which they can engage, view and participate with and in an art project. The project functions at the intersection of two distinct conceptual explorations. Firstly the performative “Opening” that engages participants in an experiential and participatory event. This event will takes place in the essentially empty exhibition space of the Harcourt House Gallery and ultimately manifests in a form of an “opening” party without specific finished works. The artist’s will use this “opening” event to document/generate their artwork which will be derived from their experiences of the “Opening” and their interactions with other artists and participants in whatever medium they chose. This finished work, which will later be exhibited, will critically engage with issues that currently surround the concept of an opening such as experience, historical value, capitalist structures, public engagement, professional anxieties, etc.
The second facet of A Record of Events will be the actual exhibition of the artwork that was created in response to the previous “Opening” event. This exhibition will be installed from July 10th to August 8th, 2014 in the main-room of the Harcourt House Gallery. For the actual exhibition, the soundtrack from the “Opening” evening, along with other ambient sound generated throughout the event, will be replayed in the gallery space in conjunction with an exhibition of the participating artist’s work. The participating creative’s artwork will be derived from their experiences at the “Opening” and in response to critical assessments of the concept of an “Opening”. The exhibition itself will represent a diverse reaction/engagement with the content and the original “opening” event. The show will hopefully inspire debate and dialogue about the nature of “Opening” events highlighting the anxiety, excitement, awkwardness and complexities of this creative world as seen from an artist’s eyes. Additionally this exhibition will function in a collaborative way with attendee’s as all “opening” evening participants will be part of the work and ultimately the dialogue about the nature of the “art opening”.