At Axisweb we decided it was a good time to ask some questions. With the aim of better understanding the experiences of individuals working beyond the gallery, we commissioned a new piece of research with a focus on how validation and visibility are (or aren’t) being gained.
Written by Dr Amanda Ravetz and Dr Lucy Wright of Manchester School of Art, the research is a response to our questions and through a series of semi-structured interviews captures the opinions and experiences of producers, commissioners and artists all operating outside of galleries.
The report substantiates feelings that many artists will be familiar with: exclusion, rejection, misrepresentation [galleries use the wrong language], sidelining and being unrecognised, all for producing ‘the wrong kind of work’. These are issues which have been aired many times, however we are determined that this research will be a catalyst for change.
We have established working groups made up of artists, producers and commissioners to drive this process. These groups will develop collaborative mechanisms to tackle the issues raised in the research and consider and implement ways to improve advocacy and profiling work beyond the gallery. If you are interested in becoming part of this process, please get in touch.
By continuing our partnership with MMU and expanding this membership, we will explore and test new models focusing on use value, metrics and social signs that help champion, profile and evaluate artists and art beyond the gallery. Ultimately, we aim to connect and engage with a broader public to reinforce the value of art and artists within society.
An online presence for the campaign planned in the coming months will include opportunities for engagement, however in the meantime if you have any ideas or feedback you want to share please do get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mark Smith, July 2015