Monday, 7 July 2014

shift done.

Sunday 22 June saw Enjoy..! Coffee Lounge morph into studio, gallery and library (albeit a noisy one). Morgan Cahn, Becca Clark, Katie Reid, Richard Taylor & Lada Wilson formed new works in response to the site, taking as inspiration the notion that a cafe can be deemed a 'third place' somewhere separate to and other than either 'home' or 'workplace'. 

Lada Wilson, 34words, shift, 22 June 2014

Nothing is a plinth. Everything is a plinth.

Think of this as your gallery!

I'm heartbroken at this news.

Context is everything? Without understanding their situation, these statements become somewhat ambiguous. This is sometimes productive; it allows you to create your own meaning, and even understand your own perspective more so because of it. Lada Wilson's work occupies this space, a place for sharing and uncovering conversation and language through distancing words from sentences.

Lada Wilson, 34words, shift, 22 June 2014
Context is something. The event/exhibition with coffee lounge site and makeshift studio combined transformed my situational installation into an interactive work. Audience members felt the need, the desire, or the lack of preciousness about the work, so that my upturned table with its delicately placed direct-response drawings, the chair carefully aligned with marks on the floor, and sponges placed in part to hide the table's chewing gum, were altered, re-positioned and utilised. The function of a table turned upside down by an artist, was turned upside down again by the visitor.

Katie Reid, Proposal for a Paperweight, shift, 22 June 2014
I'm glad. I am not interested in preciousness. I'm glad that others aren't either. 

Usefulness, on the other hand, is a value I hold dearly and find often intriguing. Becca Clark's sculptural objects positioned around the coffee lounge played with the idea of function versus non-function. Placed in and around the cafe (and without instructions as to their potential abilities) while combining parts and pieces from nails, cocktail sticks, hooks and bobbins, they became something else entirely. 

Within the coffee lounge, Becca also set up a studio space, giving away A Desk With A View a zine made while at her day-to-day workplace, that took on different references within the context of the coffee lounge. The surrounding conversations, at Lada's table, at Morgan's table and around, seeped into Becca's temporary work space. Instead of sitting down, getting in the zone and making new zines, Becca's time was absorbed by discussions.

Becca Clark, A Desk With A View, shift, 22 June 2014
Morgan Cahn's work, or project, also encouraged and centred around conversations with those in the coffee lounge. This was her intention from the outset and Morgan arrived at the coffee lounge with a gigantic hand bound book, encyclopaedias, and posed the question "What do you think is vital knowledge/information for each of us to have?"

Morgan Cahn, What do you think is vital knowledge or information for each of us to have? shift, 22 June 2014
At the end of the afternoon Morgan reported back about some of the factoids and conversations that she'd exchanged. The table was an active site for discussion all afternoon, and as such lots of sharing occurred.

Morgan Cahn, What do you think is vital knowledge or information for each of us to have? shift, 22 June 2014
Richard Taylor developed Work Done a durational performance which saw him give three readings throughout the afternoon from behind the counter amongst a set-up of photographs and grapefruits. After each reading Richard 'clocked out' using his sculpture Tallulah and Gorse and make the walk up The Law Hill and back before the next reading. The readings, photographs, sculpture and a drawing on the door all related to ideas of a journey and as such to perseverance and intent. Auto-biographical elements within the reading added a curious feeling that we were hearing someone learn how to remember or reflect upon their own life, and that through placing these memories amongst new contexts to layer up and conflict could be productive.

Richard Taylor, Work Done, shift, 22 June 2014
Richard Taylor, Work Done, shift, 22 June 2014
Our shift is over. 

This project was supported by Dundee Visual Artists Awards and Enjoy..! Coffee Lounge. A publication reflecting upon the project will be published in due course.

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