Sadly, every good thing comes to an end. Although looking closely at the exhibition WAKE (Visible Tracks of Turbulence) it remains difficult to draft an end to it. For 6 weeks, a sextet of artists worked at transforming consecutively the Dilston Grove Gallery in Southwark. “One rule” only applied, each artist had to choose his/her successor who was contrived to respond to the earlier creation. No tittle, no guidelines, no key were provided to apprehend the concept aside from a website Visible Tracks, supervised by Laura Milnes. As the website consisted of reported content from contributors, slowly the plot unfolds and we understand that the event is multi-dimensional, to which materiality – explanation – is voiced by the public imagination. “Initiator” and launch artist of the WAKE project Anne Bean sheds some light.
Back to the 11th of June, WAKE was launched by visual and performance artist Anne Bean when she released 100 km of golden ribbon onto the floor of the Grove Gallery; followed William Cobbing who projected videos on the ribbon; then followed David Cotterrell who rigged projectors to the gallery’s roof; then followed Carl Von Weiler who wrapped and suspended every objects; then followed Rachel Lowe who transformed anything material into light; and Browmen Buckeridge. As you will notice, it often comes to an “addition” or “removal” process and issues an interesting statement.
Conducted by frontrunner Arts Admin the project is said to “interrogate materiality itself, as well as notions of ownership, of collective process and the transmission of ideas.” I have asked Carl Von Weiler what it felt to edit somebody else’s work and Rachel Lowe if she thought that there was actually a narrative.
Then, I have asked Anne Bean about the purpose of WAKE.
Victor Delvecchio: What brought you to curate WAKE?
Anne Bean: I don’t see it as curating but as initiating a concept. I wanted to create a dialogue and exchange about ownership, collective process, where a work begins or ends, materiality itself and the non-verbal transmission of ideas.
VD: The WAKE concept seems a peculiar idea. Where does it come from and have you got knowledge of any other artist attempting a similar project?
AB: I like ‘peculiar’ and, no— I haven’t heard of anyone else attempting anything similar.
VD: What inspired you?
AB: Many exhibitions that I have seen and dwelt on, wanting to directly continue with the work i had witnessed.
VD: How much does it reflect or relate to any of your personal artistic approach? Does Wake comes as a conclusion in your practise?
AB: I don’t have conclusions. WAKE is very much part of my central beliefs in overlap, connectivity and work in progress challenging chronological time. It is a backward and forward interaction: visible tracks of turbulence.
VD: Seeing that each artist had to choose their successor in the theme, it feels to me like a sort of promotional event for new talent.
AB: This is not new talent. These are all artists with track records. Promotion is not a concept I’m at home with although I’m very happy if it leads to new work situations.
VD: Was anything said beforehand in selecting artists?
AB: Obviously I gave a brief synopsis of the ethos of the work but we never met and talked.
VD: Any guidelines?
AB: No guidelines, just the brief synopsis.
VD: Besides the fact that each artist’s – You, Cobbing, Cotterrell, Weiler and so on – collaboration in WAKE is by definition ‘Art’, where, in the curating process does it relate to Art?
AB: It is not a curating process, it is a conceptual process and thereby directly relates to art.
VD: What is the purpose of WAKE and what is its message?
AB: There is no purpose or message, in any direct sense. It is a questioning, an experiment, an exploration in which, I hope, most of the witnesses can participate