Jo Addison / Jonny Aldous / Neil Baker / Steve Bishop / Desmond Brett / Christy Cole / KIMI CONRAD / Karen Cunningham / Stephen Cross / Jenny Dunseath / James Epps / Anthony Green / Andrew Hornett / Hannah James / Norman Kaghma / Pavlo Kerestey / James Metsoja / Joseph Murray / Max Mosscrop / Sophie Michael / Matthew Noel-Tod / Jonathon O’Dwyer / Urszula Sliz / Andrew Stephenson / Tim Steer / Robin Webb
A conversation between Jacques Rogers and Peter Suchin on the 1st of December, 2010
Jacques Rogers: To begin with i’d like to ask you about your title ‘Point of Address’ - you mentioned this related to your experience of writing letters to friends and collegues...
Peter Suchin: I was thinking abut how one uses different forms of language with different people - personal or intimate communications in some cases, in others more formal, guarded or carefully-worded acts of writing or speech are involved. With something like the Members’ Show one is dealing with a fairly wide range of artworks, each in effect implying a distinct mode of communication. The expression ‘Point of Address’ is meant to suggest this range of postions which is in some ways paradigmatic of the broader artworld too. It might also bring to mind ideas about who is being addressed, and also how that person - the viewer - positions him or herself in relation to the work. Then there’s a sort of indirect reference to the name of the gallery, ‘Outpost’, to where it is, its address in terms of its actual physical location, but alsohow its name implies being on the edge of an already-known territory. The implication here might be one af a ‘new address’, a new or unusual way of communication or exchange.
JR: For me this illustrates how a group (members’) show is a loaded premise in the way that it represents a complicated range of active agents. During the selection process it seemed to me that you overcame this problem through an intuative method that was informed by your own artistic practice rather than any preconceived curatorial tactics - perhaps this raises the awkward question of taste...
PS: Well one can’t deny that one has a particular taste or sensibility, or ideas about what one thinks is good or important art. But when carrying out the selection I tried to take individual works on their own terms, looking at what had been submitted with a view to seeing what might be put together from what had been sent in. Certain formal devices or themes presented themselves, and I went with these with a view to assembling a hopefully coherent show, as opposed to one that was merely a survey or ‘snapshot’ of the kinds of work sent in. I thought of the activity of choosing an exhibition as being like putting together a collage, an assemblage of diverse elements brought together into some kind of workable or coherent whole.
JR: Your selection seems to be generous both in terms of the number of artists you chose to show and the space afforded to each work to remain autonomous. Like a collage the various elements were dealt with a certain equaility (perhaps it is it important to note that the artists’ cvs were disregarded). Does this reflect an empathy for an artwork’s capacity to store and transmit meaning?
PS: I definitely wanted each work to have some space of its own, to try and let works stand on their own terms, as it were. At the same time, I feel the show should be more than the sum of its parts; otherwise it would just be a ‘ragbag’ of disparate pieces. Nearly everything was selected from images that were online or emailed in, and it was a calculated guess as to how many works could be included without having to do a ‘salon’ hang (which I didn’t want), or cramming things close together. The selection had to be done quite quickly and there wasn’t time to go through CVs. In any case, I wasn’t trying to pick people who’d shown at important galleries or attended particular art schools. I tried to pick works on their own merits, and in relation to how they might fit into the broader picture of the exhibition itself. This brings to mind another aspect of the show’s title, touched on above: the matter of addressing the public, presenting a hopefully interesting, as opposed to self-indulgent, exhibition.
JR: Thanks for selecting PS.