Gallery converted to working studios: 22 September – 20 October 2018
Exhibition closes: 29 October 2018
RADICAL RESIDENCY II
Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop
Opening the studio to the public eye the Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop has introduced the second round of the Radical Residency. Providing the spaces and support to artists to develop work parallel to each other within a ‘work in progress’ studio environment. Stacie McCormick, the founder of the gallery and workspace, having to encounter a majorly overwhelming wave of in quantity large and quality rich applications for the solo residency taking place, expanded the opportunity and has opened the possibility for further 10 artists from across five different countries, to create work within the communal studio space.
Following the first Radical Residency in April 2018, this time the multi-disciplinary artists included Sol Bailey Barker, Gwenyth Fugard, Mirra Goldfrad, Connie Harrison, Jae Jo, Amina McConvell, Amy Mizrahi, Lucian Strindberg Boyle, Dominc Till and Frank Wasser.
“A thriving hub of potential provocation and conversation” as the press release reads, Radical Residency being the resulting response to the high level of applications for the three month Solo Studio Residency at Unit 1 Gallery|Workshop, allows a studio environment that is based on a peer to peer work process which through a series of dialogue and interface, opens up a spatiality for critical exchange. As throughout the time of the residency the gallery has been open to the public realm, encouraging not only the cooperation between artists but allowing space for feedback and discussion, and most importantly encouraging the engagement between the visitor and the process of production. However, what are the means that may encourage the public to enter? How can we dissolve the threshold between a closed studio space and the outside?
Entering the discourse of the residency, a lot of the artists have come in with a preconceived idea of what their work will be. Further, where it will take turns and what a potential finished piece may be like. Although, being surrounded by a variety of artists inhabiting the wide-open space and encouraged to work on producing parallel to each other, the process itself changes. Evolving into a work development that over time shifts between different set of approaches. Such mostly being due to a new routine that has to be established not individually but in relation to the other artists’ presence. Here a challenging limitation and blur of personal and private space can clearly be followed – which in some cases of the artists has only been experienced before within the academic setting. A disruption of everyday habits that once gotten used to, allow through simple means of constant reflection, feedback and interdisciplinary influence on one other, to move beyond a paranoid obsession with finished artistic products. But encourages to concentrate on the progressions and the potential of a continues work course. Here, inspiring to create a studio space that prompts critical thinking and opens towards further collaborative possibilities. A setting that under the nurturing eye of Stacie is filled with respect and mutual support, which usually lacks in the lonesome nature of the tradition studio practice. Giving not only space but also the time to the artists without exposing them to the harshness of the art market reality.
Yet, not only is the Radical Residency introducing and encouraging a new idea of studio practice but also moving beyond the traditional gallery model. Inducing the idea of a gallery that goes beyond the conventional idea of a museum of four closed walls - that in cases may discourage an open engaging behavior – calling it ‘inappropriate’ and leaving us with the judging eye of invigilators. Hence, the nature of the ‘work in progress’ studios - as if an open stage inviting the audience to enter and participate - is not only growing through the engagement of residential artists themselves, but most crucially with the open door and engagement of the public. Encouraging the interaction between artist and community and dissolving the thresholds between studio and the urban. Giving opportunities to interact with artists mid creation of work. Generating a new gallery experience which is utmost informative, engaging and encouraging for both sides, even if only in theory for now. As what is a common concern, that a studio filled with artists focused on their work is simply intimidating and the threshold between the public/private entities is still strongly leading. Nevertheless, following the aims of progressive studios such as Unit 1 Gallery|Workshop workspace’s aim and radical means to connect is starting to push borders between artist and beholder and stretching possibilities of interweaving the desired collaborations.