Post-visualising the Zero exhibit

Jul 4, 2011   //   by Matt   //   Blog, Matt, Random Thoughts  //  No Comments

The Zero exhibition closed last weekend, moments after it opened – as planned http://nogallery.org/zero. The process of placing objects of the participating artists in public spaces, spaces that were selected only by a desire to access a receptive audience, was tinged with excitement, tentativeness and frustration.

Engaging in such a direct way with the public, in the inverted notion of exhibiting art to be discovered and retained by the viewer, bringing the typically observational, enclosed and intimate meeting of object and viewer outside into the strangely non-gallery surroundings, had been thrilling. Yet moments afterwards, with the release of each image as an uncaged bird, each object failed to take flight immediately. They each chose to remain steadfastly static, unmoved and untouched by the masses. Patience is a virtue. Let the tea steep for a few minutes. Yet I am a thirsty man; a puppy straining at his leash. When will it happen?

The uncertainty of the unfolding event in the eyes of the viewers is part of the excitement. Had someone left these frames by accident? Was it some forgotten fruit, to be consigned to the rubbish by civic-minded anti-litterbugs? The tentativeness and reserve of people may have demoted the Found Art experience to a lesser one of Noticed, But Unengaged. Therein lies the frustration: has the experiment failed?

Certainly, a more pointed ‘instruction’ may be required on the reverse of No Gallery objects. To eliminate any suspicious adjectives of ‘lost’, ‘forgotten’ or ‘fly-tipping’, a clear pronouncement of ‘You have found this Art’ seems necessary. Add oregano, stir and serve. Instruct on how to enjoy the item.

Emboldened by the more-than-a-thought-exercise and inner stretching that No Gallery offers to the aesthetic couch-potato, the endorphins aroused in this human have shown how the availability of an audience can make ones Art worth pursuing. Expression requires Reception – private air guitar is empty without the warm pulse of a viewer. My equivalents to air guitar have been sampled, and that is enough to suppress my inner-doubts and allow me to continue to risk failure.

 

 

 

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