Friday, April 24, 2009

Everybody Here Comes From Somewhere

Montserrat College of Art Gallery
February 6 - April 2, 2009

Dear Listener,

Thank you for tuning in to 90.3 FM.
Cry, vibration, silence. Movement in space and circulating coffee cups. Gossip. Scratching markers, humming heater. Throw downs and contemporary cocktails. Art hanging, smashing, talking. Floor sweeping, faculty peeking. Guards laughing, students singing. Party, beer, swearing, embarrassment. Sewing machine rattling, fabric torn, mask fitting. Twenty four hours a day especially for you.

This project came together because of an onsite collaboration between artists Saskia Janssen, Jonas Ohlsson and Sarah Slifer, and curator Femke Lutgerink. To work in a gallery as part of an art school requires a different attitude than other exhibition sites. It is a mix of art education, art making and showing. We decided to turn the gallery into an art studio and a 24/7 radio station. During the exhibition period it broadcasts every single minute of activity into Beverly.

The exchange between the artists and curator took place on many levels - talking, discussing, building, listening, dancing, reading, writing, presenting and singing - and this resulted in this installation. Almost everything came into existence, or was appropriated, in a working period of ten days. We worked with the material that was already in school, or that was brought in by students, faculty and other people. The common thread in the exhibition is that all of the works are about inspiration and group dynamics. It also is about the role an artist, an educator or an exhibition maker can play in society, professionally and personally.

Since Sarah Slifer is the only artist of the group living here, in Salem, a neighboring town of Beverly, she felt very much like the connector to the Beverly community. The first time we - two Dutchies and a Swede - came to Beverly, Sarah invited us to come to the karaoke night at the Irish Pub, Kitty O’Sheas. This was a perfect introduction to Beverly.

With workshops taking place during the development of the show, we tried to give the students some insight into our way of working. Our goal was to show them that art making can have a decision process of a couple of minutes, or two weeks, or longer. That it can be a direct reaction to the encounters you have and that you can come a long way with good ideas and drawings made by others. Art can cause a complete addiction, as Jonas Ohlsson always states. On the other hand, we were also doing our own work, and we did not give up total control of the space. However, we do want to embrace the energy the students bring in so the students can work in the room and come in for inspiration. They will program activities and create their own shows in a designated area. Also, other people from the Beverly community are welcome to use the space. For example, the organizers of the Trash Finders Ball taking place in Beverly on February 21st showed interest in having their trash costume making meeting and trash-inspired poetry reading in the space. Also, the student group Food Not Bombs has served and will continue to serve meals here. The advertisement is by word of mouth and is supervised by the students.

Everybody Here Comes from Somewhere is a gift to the students of Montserrat.

Leonie, Shana and Ethan, thank you for your generous support. Ebenezer and Anthony, keep the rock ‘n roll in the room.

Thank you for listening, and stay tuned.

Femke Lutgerink,
Broadcasted on February 5th, 2009 from Montserrat College of Art, Beverly

No comments: