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Tobias Sternberg

The Gallery is Temporarily Open due to Unnecessary Refurbishment

12th Nov -11th Dec 2005

"I couldn't help notice when I was up that the gallery was in a, not desperate but lets say acute, need of some basic repairs. This is the case I guess with most artist run spaces as opposed to commercial galleries. A gallery that is not constantly thinking about selling will always be short of money, and therefore all work that goes into it has to be unpaid and thus never enough. But there are other resources than money around, residencies for examples. What if a residency was awarded to a carpenter so that he could spend a month renovating the gallery?

The Collective Gallery Storage Unit
The Collective Gallery Storage Unit

There is a lot of talk in alternative art circles about how capitalism controls all the commercial galleries but there is never any mentioning of the mechanisms governing the alternative circles themselves. By using the residency program as a front to renovate your gallery you would put this discussion on its head and break several unspoken rules in the artworld and maybe some formal ones too.

The General George Artchive and Faerie Kabinet
The General George Artchive and Faerie Kabinet

However, it would be a bit boring if I just came up, painted the gallery, changed the floors, and fitted a new restroom with disabled access and a coffee cum artshop and education area in the storage shed on the backyard. That is what we expect from a gallery refurbishment but it is not what I want to do. It would be too boring both for me and as a piece of art. Instead I propose a bit more give and take. I will renovate the gallery according to your needs but not according to your wishes. There are so many things that could be taken care of before we ever got to the necessities. Things that are fun to build. Things that everyone with a sense of adventure would want to have in their gallery but that no-one would want to pay for. For example secret doors, magical mirror cabinets to hide shy artists in and turning the office into a playground or lounge-area."

The Doctrine of Mutual Enclosure
The Doctrine of Mutual Enclosure

 

Tobias Sternberg was the successful recipient of The Embassy's
Annual Artist in Residence Programme

 

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