I have come to terms with Bryson again. By the end of the book I was back on his side. He has a knack of doing fuck all and making it worth reading, so in that we are kindred spirits. I’d like to travel with him. I’d suggest we do a big art gallery tour around Europe or the US and write the book jointly. We’d get on. I can draw the pictures. He can make witty asides about culture. I can tease him about his weight, he can do the same to me; fuck it, sounds like a bestseller. Bill and Bob; the Road to Culture. I would take second billing due to his enormous fame and wealth, I think that only fair. I am nobody.
Since the last offering, I have been busy getting ready for the latest MTS show, in Liverpool, the current capital of culture. It happened last Friday, though it runs for another two weeks, not that there is much left to run. The opening night was the show really. We called it ‘YOUR ART SHOW’ and the concept was to offer the people of Liverpool a chance to create the show. We provided the white walls, white canvases, white framed pictures and the materials and the rest was up to whoever turned up and was willing to paint.
We produced an issue of our visual notebook which contained blank pages except for a written suggestion of what to draw. In this way, the exhibition could be continued away from the venue. We had previously been included in the RedWire Open show of 2006 and on this basis we were invited to have our own show. On that night we had taken four prints. They were pleasing images and one did sell and in the time since we had had very little contact with the gallery. It was set up by some graduates of LMU, who use the section behind the gallery as studio space. They are a great bunch of people, friendly, supportive and they have a very good exhibition programme. I assumed we were the weak link in the chain and prior to the show I was very concerned that it would be a disaster. It wasn’t. The gallery was abused beyond recognition. All the residents of RedWire joined in with the chaos. (http://redwireredwire.com/page48.htm)
As you can see from this short film made on the night by a passing cameraman (http://www.archive.org/details/TimBrunsdenYourArtShow_1) there were a lot of happy people at the show. It certainly wasn’t the usual muted shuffling around and strained attempt at showing some interest in the work. I spent half the night in a cupboard behind the gallery wall making paint bombs and listening to the noise in the room. I was happy in there. There was another show on downstairs and that artist was a little disturbed by the leaking water from our show, so we had to make frequent mopping a part of the night, sadly. The paint bombs had been making some nice patterns.
I am not sure we want to do a normal exhibition anymore. It would seem really dull and arrogant to use a space to hang work in. I know we are artists and a part of being an artist is to show your work but I can’t imagine filling that space with MTS drawings and paintings and sculpture and being as happy as I am now. We can make work, we can hang it nicely, arrange it and all that. And, so what? When we made the cups in the mill, it was fun. I suppose you could admire the patience to draw on ten thousand cups or possibly even think that they were well drawn but I would like to think the lasting impression was that it was a fun piece, end of. Is it enough to make work that no one ever has a chance to see? Making work for the sake of making it, for whatever reason you are driven to do it. What is the purpose of exhibiting other than to sell work or use one exhibition to secure another?
We have been quite successful at securing exhibitions or being involved in group shows. And they are a good experience. I don’t like being at a private view unless I have something to do other than talk to people. I’m just not very interested in chatting to people about the work. I like the beer, the atmosphere and idle nattering. It would have been very easy to fill that gallery in Liverpool with a fraction of the ten thousand cups, hang a few paintings and maybe show some video footage. It might have been a ‘success’.