Studio 4: Others and the Self
Difference, ego and identity are great subjects for any artist. What might a new space in a mind look like from the outside? Psychological space - how one relates one's own interiority to an audience (an artist's public) can prove shocking. Psychological space is tough for an artist - using it without overdoing it is an edgy business. And making other people different (this doesn’t mean simple stereotyping) is another obstacle to overcome, too. If we ever advocate for the weak, then we're also by default stressing the strength of the powerful, not least ourselves - the artists, the ones making the images.
The Others and the Self studio looked for such problems in our world’s multi-speed histories, in animal-human studies, in our globe-trotting, land-hopping voyages, in traces of old empires and in representation of the vulnerable. We deconstructed Kevin Carter’s 1992 Pulitzer Prize-winning image from the Sudan famine; we critiqued Renzo Marten’s film Episode 3 - Enjoy Poverty - how it locates the gap between making art among the poorest in the Congo and the gentrified spaces in Europe where it’s then discussed. We walked round the marshes of Leyton, Walthamstow and Hackney looking for Foucault’s heterotopias in East London and found them – pre-fabs, a gated canal boat marina, cruising sites, rare breed cattle fields and allotments. Understanding how ethics work in art, how the borders between art’s groups are negotiated, this is a key to professional practice as an artist.