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For Cooper Summer Residency 2017, writer and curator Seán Elder reflects upon key questions and debates raised by Cooper Gallery’s programme whilst intersecting them within his research into queer theory and the formation collective histories with annotations and new writing occupying the Gallery’s online spaces.
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content work produce form is a collective of women writers using a shared Google document to post original creative textual responses to source texts and material, including Monica Ross’ text history or not, a selection of articles discussing Feministo & associated feminist art projects, and the artists and artwork featured in the exhibition Of Other Spaces: Where does gesture become event?, and then to one another’s writing.
The goal was to create a structure modelled on the one which developed over the course of the collaborative Feministo Postal Art Event of 1975-77. For that project, women made art at home and posted it to one another, generating home-based art collections and a tight-knit community of women artists.
The writers that produced new texts for content work produce form are Tessa Berring, Anne Laure Coxam, Lynn Davidson, Georgi Gill, Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Jane Goldman, Rachel McCrum, Jane McKie, Theresa Munoz, Alice Tarbuck, Karen Veitch and JL Williams.
During the 12-Hour Action Group on 3 December 2016 at Cooper Gallery, content work produce form presented their collective writing project.
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Cooper Gallery invited Edinburgh based poet JL Williams to respond to the moving-image exhibition ALL SYSTEMS… go as part of an evening of Dance & Poetry on Wednesday 17th February 2016.
Inserting the body, through physical and aural presence, into the mobile systems we operate within and around, Cooper Gallery presented an evening of experimental dance and performance poetry. Drawing attention to the performativity of the body and speech, elements present within the three moving-image works in the exhibition, this event explored the fictionality of these systems and their institutional counter-parts. Widely respected dancers Jack Webb and Madira Gregurek presented their new performance AN END, devised as a direct response and rebellion to the systems drawn attention to by the exhibition. Acting as a prelude and epilogue to the evening, JL Williams performed her new piece Opening Bracket / Closing Bracket: An Object Lesson in Levitation, vocalising her reaction to the choreography of the exhibition and the Dance, into the event.
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Thingness, posed as a question, serves as the heading under which these reflections take place. Drawn from public salons and conversations shared, extemporaneity becomes here a more patient concern. Speaking around questions of the object and of the shared experience of the demand of saying something, these remarks unfold concerns of working adjunctly with philosophy.
The writings published here on Group Critical Writing are the reflective notes and annotations from the residency philosopher Joseph Fletcher with contributions from residency artists Oliver Braid and Anouchka Oler during the course of the 2015 Cooper Summer Residency which has at its backdrop a dialogue around Object-Oriented Ontology.
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Texts in response to Men Gather, in Speech. . .
Prompted by Men Gather, in Speech. . . at Cooper Gallery, seven Scotland-based art writers came together to present public readings responding to, reflecting on and annotating the ideas and concerns discussed in the works featured in the exhibition. This extended the dialogue set in motion by the exhibition that explored the mode of address that underpins Western philosophy and importantly politics.
The exhibition drew upon Hannah Arendt’s often quoted phrase “men gather in speech…” which lucidly defines the human necessity of dialogue and its role as the quintessential medium of the political to re-enact and doubt the troubled relationships between “power and the space of appearance” in our present age. Touching upon the theatrical, the fictional and the digital, the exhibition offered a complex mediation upon speech, dialogue and the slow silencing of the political space that had once appeared between us.
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The readings featured at the Roundtable Discussion The Process of Content: on a temporality in contemporary art at Cooper Gallery in November 2014 to accompany the exhibition Anna Oppermann: Cotoneaster horizontalis. The roundtable discussion was a stimulating gathering of thoughts that elaborated and amplified the histories, politics and social reverberations of art practices in the 1970s and 80s, and the influence and impact they have on our thinking about art and culture today.
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Group Critical Writing Residency is an anthology of new texts, drawn from open submission and edited by Maria Fusco. Here, emerging writers across Scotland thought through collaboration and collectivity, accumulating distinct singularised voices into a speculative document of what it is to be contemporary within art and culture in Scotland today.
Read work responding to the following propositions:
♦ How do collectives function?
♦ How to collaborate between differences? Finding a shared vocabulary in a cross-disciplinary collaboration.
♦ No individual authorship.
♦ I’m not interested in collaboration; I just want to make things.
♦ Here. Right now.
As well as publishing our writers’ new work here, the texts found public voice as part of the 12-Hour Jamming Symposium on 25 July 2014.
Group Critical Writing Residency was part of Studio Jamming: Artists’ Collaborations in Scotland an exhibition curated by Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee from 30 June – 2 August 2014.
Maria Fusco writes fiction, critical and theoretical texts, edits publications, and contributes to a broad range of magazines, books and catalogues. Fusco is founder/editorial director of The Happy Hypocrite a semi-annual journal for and about Experimental Art Writing. Fusco was the inaugural Writer-in-Residence at Whitechapel Gallery in 2009-10 and the Critic in Residence at The Kadist Art Foundation Paris in 2008-9. In 2013 Fusco was Writer-in-Residence at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and a Hawthornden Fellow, Scotland.