Thursday, 2 October 2008

Open Dialogues in ‘Without You it’s Nothing’ at Deptford X

Image; Spencer Tunick 2002, courtesy the artist and Deptford X.

‘Without You it’s Nothing’ at the 2008 Deptford X Festival, 11th October 2008, Creekside, London

In ‘Without You it’s Nothing’ the audience are invited to observe, participate and affect the process as participating artists strive to allocate, divide and give a cultural value to an exhibition fund of £500. Artists have all been invited to pitch for a handful of the money in order to realise an act independent of Deptford X. These moments are to be played out in the following days, creating their own subsequent events.

The panel aims to support the artists’ proposals, discuss merits of the pitches, explore parameters and award some cash. The members of the panel are in flux; they can change at any point of the day. We invite people visiting the exhibition to propose an idea, artwork or act in return for remuneration. Without You It’s Nothing does not attempt to steal the moment, but to capture the performance of the pitch and to ask if this instance is enough?

As a critical response to Without you It’s Nothing Rachel Lois, as Open Dialogues, approached the judging panel and pitched for £150 in order to develop a piece of critical writing on Without You It’s Nothing entitled Without you It’s Nothing*. The pitch performed the as yet unwritten text, outlining content, critical approach and the relationship of the writing to the other artworks in the show. An excerpt from the pitch:

“Without you It’s Nothing* is sympathetic to the latent state of the work in today’s exhibition, and aware of its own complicity in the show. Without You it’s Nothing* takes a speculative approach to what will come after today; who gets the money, if any of the work does get carried out, and by whom. The absence of work, and any attendant fictions and non-fictions, are treated equally seriously in the text.

The title Without You it’s Nothing* refers to today’s exhibition of the same name, and the artists here today, but also to its prospective readers, without whom the text would not exist as it does”

Rachel Lois initially priced the text at £150 excluding design, production and print publication. The proposal was awarded £15 on the condition that the monies would be used to pitch the text to an arts magazine or journal. The text remains unpublished.

Without You Its Nothing was presented by Collecting Live Art, curated by Laura Eldret and Paul Mart as part of the Deptford X arts festival 2008.

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