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Unit 3 Projects | TESTING <1<2<1<2
25/03/2017 - 03/04/2017
Unit 3 is a gallery and project space available to artists working at ASC’s Empson Street studios and it is a rare beast indeed. To have affordable exhibition space as part of studio rent within striking distance of central London is so important. But to be unencumbered by the bureaucracy of ‘proposals’, ‘selection processes’, ‘committees’, and ‘prize giving’ is rarer still.
In this spirit I wanted to share Unit 3 with a wider community of artists from London and the north of England. These artists are primarily working with painting and sculpture in general and aspects of abstraction specifically. I wanted to look at work that stood outside of, or even against, my own personal proclivities, tastes or preoccupations as an artist. I asked them to select an artwork of their own and then asked them to select another work by an artist peer of their choice. I wanted to test my critical and curatorial responses to the decisions of the chosen artists in a more immediate and dynamic way.
So the artists here are testing me, each other and themselves in the transactions they make and the decisions they take. I wanted to get a feel for, and a different angle on, how peers look and listen to each other and how this might manifest itself in the chosen artworks. Since the rise of social media, have artist’s dialogues become deeper and more complex? Or flatter, more shrill and competitive? What of ‘the bubble’ complex, the mutual appreciation societies, the cliques and vast ‘group show’ gangs? How do any of these social interactions translate themselves or remain buried in the way artists have selected other’s work here at Unit 3? What, if anything, can we glean from these visual combinations, liaisons, dialogues and potential stand offs between artworks? In truth, art that’s any good contains all the vital aspects of historical understanding. It shows real sensitivity to its chosen mediums and an awareness of a shared cultural moment or experience, complete with all its tensions, contradictions and dilemmas. I hope this show might go some way in bringing, what might seem like, mutually exclusive forms and positions in art, into some kind of prescient and dynamic dialogue.
Stephen Buckeridge chose Karl Bielik
John Bunker chose EC
Nick Cash chose Matt Hale
Matt Dennis chose Georgina King
Simon Pike chose Charley Peters
Tony Smith chose Lisa Denyer
Emyr Williams chose Stephen Lewis