All of this and nothing
I Am Camera Collective and Latent Image Collective (both predominantly photographic collectives) are collaborating on an exhibition taking place in Woodland Creatures — a pub on Leith Walk. It is titled: All of this and nothing. It closes on the 23rd of October and from 7pm onwards when the audience will be invited to take away the artworks; literally pulling them from the walls.
The exhibition presents a number of seemingly conflicting values: Print against digital, individual against collective, free against financial. Art — mainstream art — is at such dizzying heights that its value (financial value) risks obliterating any other form of value the art work has. This negation of value is the negation of experience, of the experience of viewing an artwork. There is no longer the metaphysical value but rather artworks become purely symbols of status.
The perfect example of this would be Damien Hirst’s litigation of a young artist who stole some pencils from his instillation piece Pharmacy. The work Pharmacy is a somewhat philosophical interpretation on life and death, and I actually quite like it… however what I definitely do not like is the response of Hirst, to the 99p pencils being stolen (attempting to sue the artist for £10,000). It is this kind of action which encourages the unhelpful idea that all artists are charlatans interested only in the prices their works can garner.
By giving artworks away, the aim of this exhibition is to allow anyone to own our creations, to democratise the ownership of our artworks. In the inversion of the Hirst fiasco, we ask our visitors to take everything away from the exhibition.
Prints are photographs at their most authentic. The photograph as an object itself. Rather than a fleeting illumination of pixels on a screen. By giving away our artworks, we offer an exchange in which nothing is asked for them. We have turned them into commodities who’s worth has already been undermined by a system which is less interested by there symbolic content and more concerned with the use that they can be put to.
The production of the work is intended to be as cheap as possible the work is not intended to be fetishised as an object beyond transcendental value but rather as an object which is viewed with an immediacy.
The sheer range of work is interesting, we opted for a low tech display deciding that the method of display (in this case) was dependant on the idea. The prints are held up with paper clips, and each artwork is only credited by its signature on the back of the print. The works are all by different artists, working independent of one another, here they converge on the walls.
By allowing the work to be spread — mixed up — only credited on the back of each print and in the accompanying text, the work is neither about the gaze of one individual — as in William Eggleston’s “Democratic gaze”- but rather an inclusive and varied gaze, one in which sameness and difference exist within the same space.
Eye Am Camera is a newly-formed art collaborative project created by Sandy Sigala. This organic group does not have any fixed members but aims to promote and inspire emerging Scottish based visual artists. Which I am privileged to be part of.
Latent Image Collective will then follow and showcase their work from the 26th of October until the 8th of November, with the closing party on the 6th of November.
Latent image Collective is an international group formed in 2014 by Nick Tauro Jr. The idea behind it was to find kindred spirits scattered across the globe and to create a connection between fellow photographers.
Eye Am Camera:
Tara Kathleen Stewart
Latent Image Collective:
Francesco Di Marco