This is the Gallery and the Gallery is Many Things
27 September to 22 November 2008
Marc Bijl, Chen Shaoxiong, Spartacus Chetwynd & Marte Eknaes, Bill Drummond, Jimmy Fantastik, Peter Fend, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Liam Gillick, Joseph Hallam, Matthew Harrison, Barbara Holub, ISAN, Ben Kinmont, James Langdon, Kelly Large, Heather & Ivan Morison, Magnus Quaife, SCUPA, Mithu Sen, Support Structure, Mark Titchner, Laureana Toledo & Rain Li, Lawrence Weiner
An evolving space/exhibition
'This is the Gallery and the Gallery is Many Things' is the inaugural exhibition of Eastside Projects, a new artist-run gallery as experimental public space, set at the heart of Birmingham’s City Centre Eastside regeneration zone.
Over a 9 week period the exhibition and gallery space will evolve from a highly constructed ‘empty’ space to a layered and complex gathering of artworks, events and processes in various stages of convergence and divergence. The exhibition purposefully includes a wide range of UK based and International artists revealing different practices and approaches to the production of art in order to produce a unique explosion of ideas and possibilities as Eastside Projects comes into being. This is the Gallery and the Gallery is Many Things sets an ambitious framework for the future of the gallery and a diverse scope of relationships and connections designed to make visible cause and effect in the future life of the gallery.
Three exhibition precedents provide references and an underlying ethos for the first exhibition and continuing evolution of the gallery as an ongoing artwork. El Lissitzky’s Abstract Cabinet, 1926/1930, at the International Kunstausstellung Dresden & Hannover Museum takes the role of the first reference as a clear and radical emergence of the artist-curator generating a constructed environment for artworks by Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo and El Lissitsky, as an artwork itself intertwined with the selection and integration of other artists works. The second reference is to the 1978-79 Peter Nadin Gallery, by Peter Nadin, Christopher d’Arcangelo and Nick Lawson, which had a continuous exhibition titled The work shown in this space is a response to the existing conditions and/or work previously shown within this space. Artists included Daniel Buren, Peter Fend, Dan Graham, Louise Lawler, Sean Scully and Lawrence Weiner and the artists directly responded to each others’ work developing a cumulative environment. The title of the show is adapted from the third reference exhibition This is the Show and the Show is Many Things, 1994, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent, curated by Bart de Baere. The artists including Honore d’O, Fabrice Hybert, Louise Borgeois, Suchan Kinoshita, Jason Rhoades and Luc Tuymans planned the exhibition through workshops as a joint enterprise, defining relationships between each other and redefining functions of the Museum space.
Nadin’s 1978 project began with the text “We have joined together to execute functional constructions and to alter or refurbish existing structures as a means of surviving in a capitalist economy.” The text forms the starting point for Eastside Projects gallery policy and strategy. Nadin’s exhibition started with the ‘empty’ gallery space and newly constructed wall elements followed by the series of ‘solo’ projects and This is the Gallery and the Gallery is Many Things follows suit in an unravelling of function, design and execution by the practitioners forming the gallery and the invited artists.
This exhibition initiates the examination of the potential of cumulative artworks across the programme of the gallery for the coming years and the potential of a constantly evolving architectural space also in collaboration with the artists and architects connected to the gallery.
Photographs of evolving exhibition by Stuart Whipps.
• Barbara Holub's publication 'Initiative Island', published on the occasion of 'This is the Gallery and the Gallery is Many Things' is available to buy online