Doing a Master in Artistic Research is not an easy matter, as what is “artistic” and what is “research?”
Generally too many artists are claiming to be researching.
While art can be the result of inner or outer research – or one may need to research in order to make art –, stressing the research in art means the research itself is emphatically part of the art you show.
However, in the end it is just the materiality of what you show that should make the difference.
As a viewer you don’t give a damn if a work of art is the result of any research; that only starts to matter if, as a viewer, you become part of the research.
To engage the viewer you need all the conventional conditions and techniques.
There is the material object you want to show, there is the space you want to show it in, there are the acoustics of the space and there is time, the space of time you want to engage the viewer in.
Whether you are good at Mid-Atlantic English non-speak or not, doesn’t make any difference.
When showing your work as an artist, you are in fact artistically naked, you can hide almost nothing, and even if you do, the hiding itself becomes part of your artistic nakedness.
That counts for any artist, whether you are a conventional painter or a maker of intricate video installations.
(Well, that was Dad’s sermon, i guess)
Ten students of the Royal Academy’s Master Artistic Research department showed their work last weekend.
Under the title The Ongoing Conversation 1646 usually co-operates with the Academy to give the MA students a platform.
There are no pictures of Arribas’ work here as she had organised a digital performance with sound, however, her website gives you some idea of what she is up to.
1646 is also taking part in the national artistic online Unlocked/Reconnected show, with a work by Carmen Roca Igual (scroll up for pictures), which came out a bit shallow in combination with the works of the students, apart from its less than perfect presentation with too much reflections on the video screen.
Referring to what i preached before, i must say not all exhibiting students really engage you in their artistic research, although all do make interesting works.
One of the most interesting works was shown by Giath Taha.
The work looked quite simple and open in the beginning, but looking at it in a darkened room made it haunting and even a bit spooky.
A work about space, presence and absence, it engages the viewer completely.
At least that is what happened with me.
Another very interesting presentation was Serene Hui’s at Page Not Found. (scroll up for pictures of her work)
In her work different ideas come together, from the manipulation of Google’s algorithms to truth and fake behind language in a post-truth society.
The different voices filled up the space from different speakers, making it also a work about time and space, while the book titles of the shop seemed to illustrate the whole work.
Generally i admire the way these mostly international students have coped with the present situation, cut off from their friends, families and homes (some may have been in that situation already before) and finding themselves in a world that is suddenly less international in many ways.
© Villa Next Door 2020
Contents of all photographs courtesy to all artists, 1646, Page Not Found and Stichting Ruimtevaart, Den Haag.
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