posted 25 May 2016
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- Sat, 18 Jul 2015 - Sun, 27 Sep 2015
- 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM
- Tickets: Free entry
Clay Arlington, Jack Brindley, Ben Cain, Maurice Carlin, Daniel Eatock, Sean Edwards, Anne Harild with Blue Room, Jonzo, Laurence Payot, The Piracy Project, The Serving Library, Ian Whittlesea
RESOURCE is a group exhibition inspired by the 1927 founding manifesto of the Bluecoat which states that the organisation was set up to promote not only the arts, but also the ‘diffusion of useful knowledge’.
The resulting exhibition includes artists whose work suggests or subverts a practical purpose, alongside interventions into the infrastructure of the Bluecoat by publishing collectives and designers. Many of them have made new work for the exhibition utilising the building’s hidden resources - its studios, performance spaces, print rooms and the people who use them - opening up the day-to-day working life of the UK’s oldest arts centre.
Art works as temporary resources available for visitors include Jack Brindley’s museum-style audio guide which layers a fictional narrative over the building, Ian Whittlesea’s exercises in becoming invisible, and the Piracy Project’s reference library of bootlegged publications.
RESOURCE also features working methods which highlight both what we might learn from each other and how we can work within an economy of means. These include Anne Harild’s prototype shelters co-designed with Blue Room, a group of adult artists with learning disabilities, and Daniel Eatock’s contribution which has been determined by the materials left over from previous exhibitions.
Taken as a whole, the exhibition extends its enquiry into use and usefulness to its own surroundings, questioning the nature, but also future possibilities of arts centres. Is their value based solely on what is presented publicly or what is also produced behind the scenes? What new resources should a 21st century arts venue offer to remain useful to the public which they serve? The artistic and civic functions of an arts centre will be considered through related talks, workshops and other events over the summer.
Image: Ben Cain, Group Work #3, 2015. RESOURCE, installation view at Bluecoat