OFF_CENTRE: Draft #1

[ Unfolding Thoughts within a Collective Space ]

A journal is defined as a magazine or newspaper that deals with a particular subject or activity. It acts as a record of events; a recording of a process.

Using this definition as a structure upon which to hang our concepts, we worked to position this structure within the space of the curatorial; the programming, the producing, the exhibition - that which we deem central to the curatorial complex. Within this space of thinking through, we found ourselves on the periphery; isolated both by the COVID crisis and my fractured, exhausted thoughts as we worked to navigate the crisis and stay mentally and financially afloat.

I found myself always not quite in the centre, always slightly off; never fully there - but instead of continuing the battle with this mental position; I worked over lockdown to explore the thoughts, process and outputs that I encountered on these peripheries and wondered what might happen here if payed more attention to this kind of space and positioning.

I quickly realised that I wanted to use this time to create a flexible, discursive space for thinking whilst promoting conversations, cross dialogue and supporting our artists and networks.

Asking ourselves (something like):

How can we build temporary models or methods of working together?

We have always wanted to do a research journal; in fact it was going to be something we did at the end of the first year of PINK as a way of bringing all our thoughts together ~ but as timelines and dates become ever more uncertain, we figured it might be time to explore this right now.

Enter . . . OFF_CENTRE

If the exhibition takes a central position in the curatorial complex,

then what might we find if we go slightly off-centre?

This is a working title, a concept and a structure to be explored. A productive space for the thinking through of research. Research has always been a central element to PINK but as I work to build something that has multiple entry points and spaces for thinking, it’s become more important than ever. Research to me is the unfolding of a living idea; something to occupy, to embody and it’s exciting that I can begin to be ambitious with this and the ways in which we include others in the process.

As such, we wanted OFF_CENTRE to become a space to consider the discursive, the written, the textual and other forms as a way of researching, archiving, resourcing, documenting but also allowing the interconnections of theory and practice to collide; an active investigation; a living archive.

The aim of the journal is to develop an interdisciplinary dialogue on a chosen subject to understand how multiple perspectives on a local, national and international scale might be productively combined to explore the potential for future discussions and collaborations.

The journal has become an apparatus; creating a collaborative and generative approach, with the aim of opening up processes of thinking through a theme. We wanted to collect material to use, react to and interfere with; seeing this as a performing format. Investigating a subject through the process of gathering material; providing multiple entry points into a subject; inspiring collective discussion, whilst informing the individual research process.

A space to share, accept, process, and respond abstractly to the fermentation of research. What we seek is a multiplicity of viewpoints, thoughts and approaches on the theme of performativity; with its multiple contexts and references. Creating a collection of different voices, intended to facilitate informal exchange of ideas between PINK and its collaborators, as we use this time to develop our connections and research.

Using performativty as a lens, we are interested in opening up new ways of knowing, communicating and understanding artistic research in its many forms. We want to explore an expansive approach to collaboration that might help us to find new ways of thinking, acting, relating, and writing as we try and come to terms with the notion of performativity - as the thematic framework of PINK’s first year of activity.

So, it all began with a curiosity to consider:

A journal as a meeting point, a space to think and as an instrument for research and discussion.

We hoped to trigger this by asking our contributors:

What is your relationship and/or understanding of performativity as a practice, method or concept?

There were no limitations to what their response/contribution could be, or what form it could take, what language it would be in etc. All we required was for it to be worked into a PDF document.