I’ve been thinking about how to display the next batch of frames we use for a No Gallery show. I thought of making cardboard stands and I’ve had a go at a prototype. (The marks inside the stand in the pictures are because I made this from some scrap paper that had something already printed on one side”.
This version is printed on photo paper which in the current design is a bit flimsy but still surprisingly strong. The advantage of using photo paper is we can print directly onto it and then simply cut around the design, and we can print the photo title/information at the same time. That’s what the rectangular panel at the front is for.
I think if I found some slightly thicker paper, enlarged the plaque area and made some of the bits, particularly the part that supports the lower edge of the frame, wider, then this may be strong enough.
A disadvantage is a piece of tape is necessary to hold the rear edges together. I thought of making some kind of tongue and slot but I don’t think the thin photo paper is sturdy enough to support that and make a good join.
The stand works in both portrait and landscape orientation.
We bumped into Alex Springer in Trafalgar Square while travelling around various bits of London distributing No Gallery Zero. We’d only placed a few pieces and were still eager for any feedback or encouragement on what we were doing.
As luck would have it Alex is also a photographer and was also just setting out on a photography related art project – ‘London Camera Style’ where he spots people in public with interesting cameras and shoots them for his blog.
Matt has a rather nice Leica M6 which caught Alex’s eye so he came up to us and rather nervously asked if he could shoot it. His shot of Matt’s camera (but not face!) and my shoe in the bottom left showed up on his blog here.
And here’s me photo of him taking the picture!
It was great meeting Alex, it made me feel No Gallery is part of a sea of interesting art/photo projects and other people really do care about this stuff.
No Gallery Zero was a success.
Less than a week ago all the pieces of an idea that’s been running around inside my head for years finally clicked.
I drifted into photography. I got a camera one birthday when I was a kid, took lots of photos (film was cheap!) but got few of them developed (developing was expensive!) and quickly gave up on my little shiny silver plastic 110 camera. It’s probably still in a box at my mum’s house with rolls (cartridges?) of undeveloped film. Even before that I remember my dad taking family photos on caravan holidays by the sea, setting the camera’s clockwork self-timer then running to stand in the photos himself. Magic.
At university I had a friend who was obsessed with photography. One day on a road trip he showed me his Minolta SLR and explained what the hundreds of buttons and dials did. It seemed impossibly complicated. Actually, perhaps my friend was obsessed with cameras rather than photography.
I bought my own SLR and within a few months I was taking photos for the university newspaper, experimenting in the darkroom and arranging jellybeans into pretty patterns to photograph.
Then I gave up. Then I started again. Then I got serious. Then I quit my job to pursue it as a career. Then, and only then, I fell in love with it.
I used to be a nerd. I still am. I like science. I like maths. I thought about becoming a research physicist but never quite got around to it. Perhaps my favourite ever book is an instruction manual for a computer programming language. I liked art at school but was steered into more academic subjects by my teachers. Years later I walked into an art school to meet a friend and instantly had, not quite an epiphany, but some kind of realization that there’s all this stuff going on and all these people and all this experimentation and play (I love play) and hey, why wasn’t I a part of this? Who tricked me into doing actual work work?!?!?!?!?
I’m trying to explain what it is I find appealing about having a gallery. A gallery (even this No Gallery) is a means of distribution. One of the joys of doing work for me is getting it out there. It’s not even the having people see it, it’s just the getting it out there. If you do the work and if you get it out where it can be seen then you’ve done your job. Whether anyone appreciates it, well, that’s up to them and frankly if they don’t like it then screw them.
You don’t need anyone’s permission or approval. It might feel like you do, but you don’t.
This is what we (me, Matt) did:
- Bought some cheap photo frames.
- Printed out half a dozen quickly chosen photos each and put them in the frames.
- Stuck labels to the back with name, title, date and a very short (too short) explanation of No Gallery.
- Travelled around London for the best part of a day on foot and by tube, dropping off the pictures at places that seemed good at the time.
- Had fun.
- Gained a new energy and enthusiasm for art generally and our own work.
Sure, it was a trial run, there were plenty of things wrong with it and there’s lots we’ll do differently next time. Part of the reason for using our own work was I wouldn’t want to exhibit some else’s until we’ve shown the worth of the whole project. And of course we both wanted our own work to be seen. Now we’ve both done our first exhibition.
No Gallery Zero was a success!
A lot of non-picture information can be stored in a digital photo. This embedded data is called ‘metadata’.
Most digital cameras store the time and date of the exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and a lot more. Any data that’s not present can be added later, even for scans from film.
One potentially very useful piece of metadata is the GPS location where the photo was taken. Some cameras, for example those built into mobile phones, record this when you take the shot. Most dedicated cameras don’t though so it’s useful to be able to add it.
I’m going to try to be as open as possible about the No Gallery process.
Just piecing together ideas for No Gallery Zero which will be the first ever No Gallery exhibition and a test run for the whole process.
I’m currently thinking it will take place this weekend in London or rather in locations dotted around London! I’m planning to photograph the work in situ and record GPS locations.
Eight photos will shown, reflecting the ‘No Gallery’ idea.
The perfect is the enemy of the good!
What Is This Blog?
News about No Gallery, details of exhibitions etc.
I’m going to try to be as open as possible about the No Gallery process so a lot of work-in-progress will be shown here.
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