All posts by housedcollective

18-19 February 2016 – Housed Collective visits Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland t

From 18-19 February 2016, a few members of the Housed Collective based in London, UK visit the Academy of Fine Art in Katowice to present the Connect:Katowice project. 

Entrance to Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Entrance to Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

The Connectors

One of the London-based curators, Oxana Smirnova, gave a brief presentation on 18 February 2016 to introduce Connect:Katowice, the proposed collaboration involving Housed Collective and the Academy of Fine Arts, in Katowice, Poland. Connect: Katowice aims to bring together London-based artists and curators (alumni from Chelsea College of Arts) and Polish artists from Katowice’s Academy of Fine Arts [ASP].

15 London-based artists and curators are involved in Connect: Katowice, who will be joined in Spring 2016 by a like number of artists from Katowice Academy of Fine Art, led by Vienna-based and Katowice-born artist, Pawel Mendrek.

Oxana Smirnova presents 'Connect:Katowice' project to students and faculty at Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Oxana Smirnova presents ‘Connect:Katowice’ project to students and faculty at Academy of Fine Arts, Katowice, Poland. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

The current list of UK-based artists are:  Paul Abbott, Marilyn Collins, Sarah Faulkner, Kelise Franclemont, Joseph Lichy, Shadi Mahsa, Regan O’Callaghan, Alex Roberts, Jonathan Slaughter, Laura Solomons, Louise Wheeler, Michael Williams, and Adam Zoltowski

See the profiles of the UK artists here…

with the names of Polish artists coming soon!

UK curators of Connect: Katowice are:  Oxana Smirnova and Fabian Strobel

And in Poland the curator and ASP coordinator is: Pawel Mendrek.

Some snapshots of our visit to Katowice

Rondo Gallery [Rondo Sztuki] sits right at the centre of Katowice, near the International Congress Centre, Spodek sports centre, National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Hall, and The Silesian Museum for arts and culture of the region.

Of course, we had a look at local art galleries, including Rondo Gallery showing work by Polish artist Maciej Linttner, the International Congress Centre and gardens, and Galeria Szyb Wilson which houses a large private collection of Polish artists as well as some internationals.

And we didn’t leave without a tour of Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice…

More links and information

1 December 2015 – ‘Housed’ begins project with group of Polish artists – ‘Connect: Katowice’ to be realised in 2016

The artists of ‘Housed: Cookhouse‘ which began April 2015 at Chelsea College of Arts, London, have recently been awarded an opportunity to collaborate with a number of Polish artists in Katowice’s Academy of Fine Arts in a new project known as ‘Connect: Katowice‘. This creative exchange and possible art festival/exhibition is evolving now and will centre at Rondo Sztuki (Roundabout Gallery) in the heart of Katowice, Poland.

Rondo Sztuki (Roundabout Gallery) in Katowice, Poland. Image courtesy w-a.pl
Rondo Sztuki (Roundabout Gallery) in Katowice, Poland. Image courtesy w-a.pl

The anticipated dates of the public programme are coming up next year, slated for November 2016, so stay tuned here for more updates as the project evolves!

More links and information

Rondo_Sztuki_logo      ASP_Academy_Fine_Art_Katowice   UAL_chelsea_logo

20 August 2015 – Housed print publication launched!

Designed by Sarah Faulkner. ISBN: 978-0-9569698-4-2
Designed by Sarah Faulkner. ISBN: 978-0-9569698-4-2

The printed publication to accompany Housed project (7-10 April 2015) and blog is now available. Inside the 44-page softcover book is more information about the 12 artists and 5 curators, with full-colour images of Housed as the week progressed and including personal thoughts from each artist/curator responding to their involvement in the project.

An introduction to the concept by project originator Alex Roberts is followed by additional texts from Dr. Stephen Wilson (Post-graduate Theory Coordinator, CCW) and Donald Smith (Director of Exhibitions, Chelsea Space), who both contributed valuable time and criticism of our work, as well as addressing the overall artistic and/or curatorial concerns that arose during the week.

If you would like to obtain a copy of the Housed publication, please contact Alex Roberts or Regan O’Callaghan.

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10 April 2015 – Curator’s breakfast discussion

On the final day of Housed:, the curators hosted an informal breakfast and walk-around discussion of the project following their intervention.

Participants included the artists and curators of Housed:, with Dr. David Dibosa,  Dr. Stephen Wilson, and Donald Smith (Director of Exhibitions, Chelsea Space) dropping by to offer input, as well as a number of guests from Chelsea and beyond.

View of Housed from the exterior of Cookhouse. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
View of Housed from the exterior of Cookhouse. Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

9 April 2015 – The engaging results of the curators’ intervention

Following a crit with MA Head of Curating & Collections, with head of MA Critical Theory, the curators moved into Housed: and “rearranged the furniture.” Their aim was to push the works to new limits and test the boundaries between artist and curator.

MA Curating & Collections intervene in Housed:

Here is the result:

Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

Some pieces weren’t re-sited whilst some works were moved. In either case, even a small change resulted in a striking new conversation between works.

Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

Every small detailed was carefully considered. The curators knew very little about the artist or the works presented, even though some artists provided a supporting element in a small envelope left near their work… a kind of telegram to the curator.

Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

The curators then relied on aesthetic considerations of the site for the work as well was their reading of the work itself.

Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.
Photo credit Kelise Franclemont.

Tomorrow [10 April 2015] the artists and curators will come together for a final shared discussion about the week.

More links and information about Housed:

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8 April 2015 – Curators rearrange ‘Housed:’ for a fresh view on the show

In a twist on the usual practice, the artists have installed Housed: without curatorial input – for the curators to come in later and test the limits of the concept of the show as well as the relationship between maker and curator, by re-hanging the show, hoping to offer a fresh perspective.

The afternoon session begins with a meeting between the 4 curators and a few of the artists, to revisit the concept (and to provide some technical input on some of the works that may require some instruction/advice).

The curators rehang 'Housed'. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.
The curators rehang ‘Housed’. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.

And the curators just got on with it!

Here Oxana and Fabi are working with placement of Saeideh’s photographs.

The curators rehang 'Housed'. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.
The curators rehang ‘Housed’. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.

Then they move on to re-stage Regan’s video and Joe’s painting.

The curators rehang 'Housed'. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.
The curators rehang ‘Housed’. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.

It takes all four to work on Sarah’s large-scale installation (l-r: Oxana, Fabi, Roberta, and YangYang)

The curators rehang 'Housed'. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.
The curators rehang ‘Housed’. Photo credit Louise Wheeler.

What the curators have done will be a complete surprise to the artists coming in the next day.

More links and information about Housed:

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8 April 2015 – Housed: crit with Stephen Wilson and Donald Smith

Donald Smith, head of the MA Curating & Collections and Director of Chelsea Space, with Stephen Wilson, head of MA Critical Theory, join us the morning of 8 April 2015 for a walk-through and crit of Housed:, providing valuable insights and feedback on the project – before the curators come in to re-hang the show.

A few summary notes from the discussion with Donald and Stephen:

Crit with Stephen Wilson and Donald Smith, 'Housed:' at Chelsea College of Arts, London. Photo credit Regan O'Callaghan.
Crit with Stephen Wilson and Donald Smith, ‘Housed:’ at Chelsea College of Arts, London. Photo credit Regan O’Callaghan.

Discussion started out with an introduction by Alex and Regan about Housed: – what we were attempting to do, and what we hoped would be the outcome.

Questions from Donald and Stephen included:

  • How did we get started?
  • How did we curate/ site the works?
    • Some were according to the artist proposals
    • Some works were site-specific
    • And for the rest the artists collaborated on placement or went with “what space am I given”
  • Observations from Stephen and Donald included: the exhibition appeared to be relaxed, with a cohesive vibe between the artists apparent – even though it was clearly experimental in nature; seemed to be for most artists, more useful as an exercise than interim show (which was noted as a “graded exercise” with additional constraints/pressures of time, space, and more artists in a single space). That said, the interim show was a natural precursor to this show, and most likely a helpful basis or stepping-stone for Housed:
  • Was this seen as an Academic research project or a studio/exhibition opportunity?
    • Many of the artists’ work is research-driven
    • That said, what is an exhibition these days? Is it a display of research results? Or simply a show of stuff that’s been made? Clearly, an exhibition can be both…
  • How do you house your practice in different situations? It was suggested, as an artist, one must figure out how to “house” your practice in each situation, in each site, or each exhibition – consider there is no one way to “house” your practice, house your work.
Crit with Stephen Wilson and Donald Smith, 'Housed:' at Chelsea College of Arts, London. Photo credit Regan O'Callaghan.
Crit with Stephen Wilson and Donald Smith, ‘Housed:’ at Chelsea College of Arts, London. Photo credit Regan O’Callaghan.

Following the group discussion, each artist had the opportunity for some individual feedback (which I won’t get into here).

All in all, it was an extremely valuable and enjoyable day.

Some thoughts from Donald speaking in terms of both the overall quality of the exhibition and with regards to the works themselves:

“The thing that I love about this show and the thing that I love about what is going to happen later on…is that this is really an impossible show to change… the artists are powerful in this situation…”

Donald goes on to say, “What I like about the show is that it gives the power back to the artist…I am interested in this slightly deferential thing – we must get in some curators –

but you’ve already curated the hell out of this.”

References and other information

Thanks from the Housed artists to Donald Smith and Dr. Stephen Wilson for their time and generosity in sharing their critique with us.

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