Friday, 25 June 2010

SybinQ Art Projects is born

Martin Westwood, Flat-field, 2010
Laminated print on window glazing
4 panels, dimensions variable.

Courtesy: The Artist and SybinQ Art Project
I wanted to write a post about exhibiting in a window.

The exhibition finishes in two days and I have been feeling that weird sensation of melancholy for the whole week. Being a curator can't really get so personal, but I guess it's normal: you always work on temporary projects, the shows, which are set up and then dismantled. If you do a good job, they will be remembered, mentioned, and inspire people for... ever
Well, at least for a very long time.

I'd like to talk plainly about The Bay Window Project now, beyond the academism of the press release. First of all, the idea was inspired by my Mum. She is not that into art, but likes to gaze-peep into other people's windows at night, when the curtains are slightly open and you can catch a glimpse of what's going on in a house different from yours. Something unavoidable, that is, curiosity. An invading tool, that makes you call yourself a voyeur with all the wrong connotations this term implies. 

But, in fact, minding people's business is licit if done through the media: the Big Brother on TV, all sorts of video on You Tube, not to mention that I am living in the most surveyed country in the world, a nation under CCTVs. The present show at Tate Modern, Exposed, is just about this. It is interesting to see what happens, instead, when the gaze is free to wonder in an urban environment. Usually the mind is blinded by personal thoughts, which make it difficult to actually register disruptions in the ordinary layout of buildings, shops, advertising signs, and so on.

This is where The Bay Window places itself, attempting to attract the passer-by gaze.
Documenting curiosity, in this case, becomes difficult. I have been observing people strolling along the street and hardly anyone is aware of their surroundings. Moreover, of the very few ones who might have raised their chin, spotted the window, and understood that they weren't looking at blinds, I know nothing of their thoughts. I would really like to hear opinions, to have crits. From "interesting" to "why would this interest me?" Art breeds on discussion, and I feel that this project, still at its embryonal state, needs some feedback.

The opening saw thirty people coming and it was nice chatting with them and hearing their impressions. I had a black notebook for the purpose, which collected, in total, two comments: one was raising an health and safety issue, the other was, simply, "Amazing project. You inspire people."

I shall add, at the end, that a new peculiar exhibition space is born: SybinQ Art Projects.
For now, it's in the Bay Window. But being not a gallery space, it can change place.

Note to the picture: since I do not have a camera with the wide angle lens, this is the result of sticking two pictures together. And yes, I took the inspiration from Digby's work, to whom I apologise for the poor result.

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