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SEASON #1: A Framing Function

~ An Attempt at Framing an Approach ~

At some point in 2020 (pandemic permitting), PINK will be taking up residence in the space of 86 Princess street, a unique and generous opportunity offered to us by the creative brains behind SEESAW.

This will be the chance for us to create, and nurture, a new space for the emergence of artistic and curatorial research; a space for things to collide in productive and generative ways. We will enter into an experimental research-led position, weaving between artistic research and discursive curatorial approaches – initiating methods for the production of knowledge that engages with a particular set of questions and ideas. In order to support this dynamic space of thinking and making, we needed to set a structure in place so as to be able to unfold lines of enquiry in what felt like a useful way - and came to the conclusion that a seasonal framework might be a way to begin this.

{Season by definition:- a time characterised by a particular circumstance or feature}

Understanding the season as a sort of framing device, this way of working serves as a self-imposed framework to think through our ideas, knowledge and creating a unique space for our research. It generates parameters to be thought through, worked in and leaned on; impacted with key questions, ideas and multiple points of enquiry; but with these initial parameters, comes multiple centres and peripheries - all of which we are excited to explore throughout the course of 'Season #1'.

The presentation of seasons enables us to build a context for a set of conversations to be conducted in the space over time. Each season will be framed by a theme relating to our collective lines of enquiry. This theme serves to hold open an idea for as long as possible so as to allow a number of artists, curators and other creatives in. The separate projects and presentations will exist in meaningful juxtaposition, and every explicit conversation developed in relation to the project will be accompanied by an infinite number of possible implicit conversations. Presenting our research as a seasonal framework, also is a way to buy ourselves more time to explore, with others. It has been designed as an expansive approach to how we instigate and ferment our research, triggering processes that can open up and contribute to the work that we do. Building a narrative around a programme, rather than solely within and around the space of a single exhibition.

It will help us to collaborate with different disciplines; thinking in an interdisciplinary way - navigating different audiences and welcoming new potentials for curatorial practice. It will enable us to connect various projects across multiple platforms around a different organising theme each time. It invites and instigates critical questions that are key to helping us move beyond our current expectations of curatorial practice. We started by asking {something like} how do you invite multiple people in to build knowledge? How do you create mechanisms for each exhibition, project or idea to capture knowledge that enters from unexpected people and places? How might we develop new models of collaboration through long-term, participatory curatorial projects?

{These questions will evolve with every twist and turn, with every interaction and encounter}

Our upcoming presentations and projects are about launching this concept; tentatively attempting to define the thematic framework and pose initial questions to be explored throughout the season. The Curating of Season #1 will be a process through which the problems arising from the project can be inhabited and grappled with; the problems actually are vehicles to access what lies beyond our own boundaries. From the exciting, open and experimental moments of encounter, to the suppressed, unacknowledged, uninvited and uncomfortable feelings that come with creative collaboration.

This season will bring together a wide variety of practices, research, resources and theories and recent discourses on curation in all performative disciplines to enrich, structure and collectively theorise possibilities of curating in these fields. It will begin as a space for our own thoughts, and slowly, as we begin to engage with others, become a space of multiple encounters with the works, thoughts and research of Manchester, beyond.

For Season #1 we will be drawing initial inspiration from J. L Austin’s use of the term performativity as a way in which to describe the action of language. We will be departing from the modes and methods of art that has the capacity to produce its own event; art that is performance, or has performance-like qualities in space and time. Exploring the transformative capacity of an act that constitutes or changes reality through a sense of {bodily} agency. We want to explore and emphasise a wider understanding of performance as a process: of making, thinking, acting; understanding it as a more than human activity. Illuminating the relationship between performativity as a process of research and practice.

With a focus on doing, and an extensive sense of performance as more than art, within the space of Season #1, we will situate ourselves within the intersection of curatorial and artistic research, opening up possibilities within this {productive} gap.

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