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Indefinable Cities - exhibition at AirSpace Gallery and 5 Cities in Japan

FRANCIS, Anna (2015) Indefinable Cities - exhibition at AirSpace Gallery and 5 Cities in Japan. [Show/Exhibition]

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Abstract or description

A collaborative research project, instigated by Anna Francis, AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, which lead to a co-curated exhibition series across 6 cities in two countries. Co-curated with Japanese curator Koh Yoshida, Director of Osaka based art space Tsukiyo to Syonen. The project began with a research visit to Osaka, where Anna Francis met Koh Yoshida and a group of Osaka based artists with initial questions and sharing of experience in relation to the role and context of artists based in UK and Japan, with a view to understand the different contexts and support for artists to make work.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Additional Information: The exhibition included the work of 6 artists (3 from UK and 3 from Japan) who explored a number of questions, to understand how different contexts impact on the way that artists can and do work in cities, from different cultural contexts. The ‘Indefinable Cities’ project provided an opportunity to form a dialogue around this area of practice; creating a space for international conversations around the role that artists may have in contributing to the development of healthy, happy cities and what it means to have a socially engaged practice as an artist today. The questions generated by the exhibition and organised events were: How are artists responding to, and document, cities in flux? How can, and do, artists impact on their environments and the regeneration of cities? What impact do these environments have on the artists’ practice, and what support is available to artists? The project aimed to understand the position of the artist, in relation to Richard Florida’s (2002) thesis on culture led regeneration, and critics of this thesis i.e. Malcolm Miles (2004) in Testing the Rhetoric of Culturally Led Urban Development. The particular curatorial methodology involved setting out the particular context for artist led spaces AirSpace Gallery and Tsukiyo to Syonen, and how the cities where these spaces are based impact on the work being done by these organisations. This was then used as a starting point to request the artists look at, and make new work in relation to how context impacts on an individual artists practice. The 6 artists were invited to respond to the context and questions set by Anna Francis, with the works and their installation then developed through discussion with the curators during the installation process. These questions were further explored and opened out to a wider conversation with other practitioners, whose work is impacted by place and site, via a cross-cultural Artist Soup Kitchen event. The project revealed interesting nuances in approach between the UK based and Japanese curators, explored both within the exhibition and discussion forum. For example: The exhibition revealed the varying ways that place, and support and infrastructure for artist led activity play a key role in the work that artists are able to make. In addition, differences in support structures available to artists in the UK and Japan were attributed to the very different approaches of the curators. It was identified that the Japanese Curator saw his role to select the work, and provide the space and at that point decision making was solely with the artist, whereas the UK curator saw the process of negoatiation and development continuing while the exhibition was installed. (see this blog from 2015 for details: http://annafrancis.blogspot.com/2015/05/indefinable-cities.html) The project was disseminated via the 6 exhibitions, and the discussion forums which accompanied them. It was also shared via Anna Francis blog, and the websites of AirSpace Gallery and Tsukiyo to Syonen.
Uncontrolled Keywords: INCL
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Indefinable Cities
Event Location: AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, UK; Atelier Sangatsu, Osaka, Japan; Art Takahashi, Hikone, Shiga, Japan; Higashiyama Building, Uno, Okayama, Japan; Komyoji Kaikan, Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan. South Patagonia Café, Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan.
Event Dates: April 2015 - August 2015
Depositing User: Anna FRANCIS
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2017 13:31
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2019 15:55
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/2998

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