That's All Very Well But...
The start of my curatorial journey. Fresh out of Art-School and filled with a surging enthusiasm to make something happen, I attempted to make a show about realistic pessimism. It was inspired by a conversation in a pub - the source of all wisdom and (inspiration?). I can't for the life of me remember the topic of conversation, but after somebody had made a rather hopeful and encouraging point, another person shot it down, beginning the sentence with phrase "that's all very well, but..."
It was a show about the flip-side of social optimism. Attempting to explore the real issues preventing a path to Utopia.
The show itself was more of a learning experience than a success. Granted, the work was all really great. I knew all three artists, other than myself, and loved their work. But a number of artists let me down, and didn't turn up with their work. So the show as a whole was left feeling a little empty. I think in the scarcity of works, it failed overall to properly explore the overall concept.
But the aspect of it which interested me as a curator was a piece I actually made, which sat somewhere between an artwork and a curatorial tool. To map out the ideas of the show, I wrote out a series of questions, and arranged them as a kind of flowchart/mind-map, with the title of the show at the centre. I turned this into a large vinyl installation on the glass front of the exhibition space. The idea was that it framed the work, it created the context, giving the viewer some questions to think about when considering the works.
So despite the fact the show itself didn't quite turn out as intended, it was a chance to realise an idea. It began an interest in intersecting an art practice with a curatorial one. Perhaps the art-work could be the instigation of the exhibition. Instrumentalising the artworks. This has been the core of my curatorial experimenting ever since.