Culture is inevitably going to evolve and it is the role of the curator/s to interpret all this change and suggest ideas for both the now and the next. It is our mission to stimulate ideas, create connections, problem-solve, as well as highlight emerging artists and neglected sectors thus allowing opportunities for new work, experimentation, discussion and growth. We always want to put on exhibitions that convey the diversified nature of our social climate. Stepping away from the society that often focuses purely on the ‘legacy’ of our generation, so pragmatically put by Michael Pybus during one of our studio visits with him early this year. This allows us to continue to establish the way in which we put on exhibitions, regardless of whether they contribute to the notion of being ‘instagrammable’.
As once described by Amira Gad from the Serpentine Galleries, curation, or more specifically a curator, is for her “a person that wears multiple hats at the same time.” Our experience with curation has meant being capable of being a technician, an advisor, a friend, a graphic designer, a writer, a cleaner and more all rolled into one. We see ourselves as curators that involve many varied assets and will continue to evolve with the times.
Each exhibition brings a new identity, each with its own unique branding. Seeing an opportunity to work with other creatives, we started collaborating with graphic designers and animators like Callum Abbot, Connor Campbell, or Aaron Daniels to name a few. Atop this, we also like to work with writers, such as Paul Carey Kent, Cairo Clarke or Francesca Gavin, to contextualise ideas through essays and press releases that accompany our exhibitions, ensuring they too are as unique to each show as the branding. Constantly seeking new perspectives, each press release brings a new voice.
The second key element is space. There is always a charismatic energy between the space, the viewer and the work, and all components are equally crucial to the outcome of the exhibition. The approach to space is vital as it can completely influence the experience of the audience. You can create spaces and coordinate situations that the viewer is encouraged to explore with a certain intention or completely without guidance. Dark Air, our recent solo exhibition with American artist Grey Wielebinski, took form from the latter. Their artwork blocked the space, leaving viewers questioning whether to enter the room or look from afar. Whilst Full English had a deliberate orchestration, beginning with a focus on the backs of the works before entering the centre of the space to view the fronts.
Going back to your observation that every exhibition we’ve curated is different in concept, art, artists and location, we do believe that sometimes, people want particular aspects of culture to remain rooted and still. There’s this idea of a linear trajectory, but from our perspective, culture is always intersecting and therefore multiplicity is integral to how we work as curators. Increasing accessibility and diversity, we always push artists to make newly commissioned works that adapt to the site and are also interested in achieving a balance, not only gender-wise but also in terms of ethnicities, ages or class with the artists involved in our shows.
In essence, our exhibitions do adapt and react to one another. We are purposefully bypassing working too often with, or becoming identified with the same group of peers. It’s how we consider culture to operate; it’s always fluid. We are comfortable with resistance and feel uneasy when things start to become too consistent. To that we are proud to state that our shows are never driven by sales! It’s always about pushing the practice forward and experimenting. Moreover, an exhibition is only one way to show work and we are also interested in how these ideas can be explored with public events or through online content too.