In some ways there is too much to do. Too many projects that demand attention and the only way that they get done are by moving to the front of the queue based on a time-running-out factor. I think that this is the wrong way to do it, a project should get priority based on merit but the reality is I cannot tell which project is more or less important. I consider them all of equal worth, as my need is personal satisfaction.
I noticed that David MacWilliam has mentioned on his blog thoughts on the expected audience for his work. I think it is a very interesting aspect of the artwork that we do. In the mill show, one of the artists was concerned about the profanity in his work and how this might be received. MTS is quite coarse at times. I say, fuck the audience. If you can, after show party and all that. PEEP! the gallery was censored last week, although in this case the artist was ridiculously stupid to try and show his drawings, as they were littered with foul language, sexual references and other topics that the narrow minds of the majority don’t like. In a gallery where you choose to enter, and where your attention can be drawn to signage stating that there is ‘adult material’, I don’t have a problem with any of those things. At PEEP!, where is it literally a window onto a children’s play centre, it was a little pointless. The owners of the business turned the galleries around, end of show.
Two days later, and I don’t think it is connected, PEEP! closed for good, in that location. I was installing the show in Huddersfield when I was called and asked to remove the gallery as soon as I could. I now have a dismantled PEEP! in the hallway. It has been replaced by an ice cream parlour. The people at the centre have asked me to build a wall mountable version of PEEP! for the ice cream eaters to look at, which I might do. It all goes back to there being too much to do and the need to focus. Another PEEP! in the same place or hold on a little longer to get a PEEP! elsewhere first, or even concentrate on something else altogether, like the paper version. I am starting to get emails from those people who submitted work; what did you do with my submission?
I did jot down all the various strands on a piece of paper and concluded that I need to carry on doing all the projects at the same time, the guiding factor being money or lack of it. The trailer for example, is the most expensive project but if I spread the cost/work, although it will take longer to finish, at least it will exist. With that project, there are other issues that I have no answer for at the moment such as storage of the trailer and where exactly to take it, how much involvement I try to have with other organisations. You can have the greatest art project in the known world but if no one knows about it, taking a PEEP! gallery all over the UK without so much as a whimper of publicity, is there a point? You might have ticked the worthy boxes such as ‘reaching a new audience for art’ and ‘fostering an empowered appropriation of imagery’ (I know it means nothing) or ‘facilitating the cross-cultural exchange of ideas within a non-boundary based issue-led programme’ but if none of that is official and merely an after thought or happy accident, is there a point? I can burn money travelling the country and having a good time, taking some mates’ pictures with me and seeing what kind of reaction a clown with a mobile gallery gets. And, so what?
Due to a very short season of one day shows, rather than the usual two-day orgies of alcohol and face painting, I am putting the ‘show’ version of PEEP! on hold; effort versus time and opportunity equals can’t-be-arsed. JW suggested that a good book could be had of that; travels with PEEP! and I think I will try that when and if the trailer ‘goes live’. The other issue with the mobile PEEP! is whether to travel alone or not. I don’t know if you really experience things on your own. I need people to get enthused and fired up. The idea of roaming across the nation on my own is very attractive though. I suppose I would make a point of stopping off to meet up with people that I know via the net; art contacts who remain an abstract construct. I think you fill in the gaps unwittingly, the knowledge that you don’t have about someone and that is the biggest danger for me. These people might do the same and assume I have something interesting to say. In the flesh, I am afraid I will disappoint. I find myself somewhat disappointing and I am used to me. So the journey would be punctuated with feeling shit and then dragging the whole project down with me. Unless I just get pissed all the time. I think I need some time alone. No idea why, I just sense it.
Time for a little light relief!
And a reply!