is an evolving project which seeks to equate itself along the lines of a conceptual model of the cosmic. Over the course of 4 weeks, this group exhibition, featuring works by 27 UK and international artists will change and evolve, grow and diminish, pulsate through the works of the artists and the participation of the audience. Curatorial control will, at times be handed over to Gallery staff and exhibition visitors, both live and remote. Through this egalitarian, hierarchy-free approach, Midpointness will seek to explore the nature of the artist, the exhibition, the audience and the work of art.
The project, curated by Andrew Bracey and Steve Dutton, arrives at AirSpace Gallery in its third iteration. The initial premise grew from conversation (see appendix 1
) in front of one of Steve Dutton’s text-paintings which reads;
The work is a score performed in the mind.
The world is a work performed in the words,
The mind is a work performed in the world.
Midpointness invites us to consider that the work of art can extend from the idea of an artefact to be understood as art’s labour or task; as a process of becoming that lies at the centre of its ‘work’. Midpointness seeks to explore the dynamics of inner/outer dialogues between the work and the viewer, opening up other potentials that an artist might hope for when he/she explores the generative potential of the work of art.
There is no fixed centre of a cosmos. Only, in humanistic terms can its subjectivity be placed as the sensible centre, albeit fantastically briefly and only by acknowledging an infinite number of other ‘centres’. This project seeks to dislodge the work as the centre of its own cosmos by mapping and re-creating the constellations within which the work exists on a continual basis.
Midpointness will change hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and week-to-week. The exhibition adopts a performative methodology that frames how (the) work takes place in the gallery. This methodology for the exhibition envisions a ‘toing and froing’ of positions between authorship and reception, between object and production, or reduction. Midpointness suggests that the ‘centre’ (the work and/or the text) and its surrounding universe are completely indivisible. As such the principle of ‘footnotes’ will filter through to the whole project, with visual and textual ‘footnotes’ infiltrating the exhibition’s ethos and design; the footnotes being analogous to the surrounding constellations within which the ‘centre’ sits, swapping footnotes for centre and vice versa.
To see the packed programme of Midpointness events - click here
Midpointness is a generative project that over time is dismantled and reconstructed/imagined by the gradual accretion and classifying of the surrounding connections, associations, influences of the curators, artists, students and other audiences. These are in the form of artworks, public events, texts, artefacts, performances or other interventions.
Euripides Altintzoglou , Emilie Atkinson, Alison Ballard & Martin Lewis, Angela Bartram, Andrew Bracey, Kate Buckley, Stu Burke, Steve Dutton, Dutton & Bracey, Rob Flint, Simón Granell, Steve Hawley, Toby Huddlestone, Kate Liston, Danica Maier, Hamish Macpherson, Annie Morrad, John Rimmer, David Reed, Lily Mellor, John Plowman, Kate Southworth, Jelena Tomasevic, Barrie Tullett, Tom Verity, Jack Waddington, Gerard Williams.
(clockwise from top left) Gerard Williams Cultural Currency 04v, 2015, Lily Mellor, Searching and Finding (myself), September 2015 - April 2016, Steve Dutton, The work is a score performed in the mind ghostly friend, 2015, Simòn Granell, [… and 1 another 2 thing 3] (detail), 2016, David Reed, the Searchers, 2007, Stu Burke, Momentary Sculpture 3, 2016, Andrew Bracey, The Art of Painting, 2016, Euripides-Altintzoglou,-28-days (detail),2016
Extract from conversation between Steve Dutton and Andrew Bracey on 3rd February 2015
Steve I was just thinking about what you said about decisions, that elements of the painting seemed to be always poised either just before or just beyond a decision. I think that's really important, but it's also about the decisions of the 'viewer'. I’m sort of hoping that the paintings are a bit like scores, which are 'performed' in the head each time they are seen or read.
Andrew Its something I’m interested in exploring, so art works becomes mid points in generative process of creation…
Steve I think it's always a mid point. It's the mid-pointness, which makes it interesting. Like a good work is always becoming
Andrew Exactly...but a show that tries to explore this as a part of a process(ing)/generating could be good
Steve and again that’s really been on my mind. Its not just about the artefact but about the tactics and strategies which are at work within it. I’ve been thinking around what might an institution which thought of itself as a work of art look and behave like?. What if some thing which is usually other to the work of art considered itself from front to back, top to bottom, side to side, not solely in terms of production, capital and quantitative outcomes, but as an aesthetic entity in itself? An entity which judged itself as a process of becoming in much the same way as a process of art making, subject to the same critical analysis and re-thinking that might be applied to a process of making and engaging in art? At what point in that imaginative process does the institution become a work in itself?
Andrew an institution always at a mid-point?
Steve the work as a performance
Andrew and the institution as a performance…
Andrew Bracey is an artist, curator and lecturer, who is based in Waddington, Lincolnshire. Bracey graduated with an MA in fine art in 2001 from Manchester Metropolitan University and has since exhibited widely in the UK and Europe. His practice hovers on the fringes of painting as it crosses over and expands into installation, curation, sculpture, drawing and animation. He often uses existing sites and the readymade as alternatives to the traditional canvas support for painting, creating tensions between the hand-made and the man- made. Within his work Bracey questions the role of the original, the reproduction (in print, online or in a catalogue for example) and exhibition display. Solo exhibitions include; Usher Gallery, 2014,Nottingham Castle, 2014; Manchester Art Gallery 2009; Transition Gallery, London, 2007; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2007; and firstsite, Colchester, 2006. He has exhibited in group exhibitions, in the UK, Europe, USA and Thailand. Curated exhibitions include Re-Unpacking, Nottingham Castle, 2014; (detail), H Project Space, Bangkok and touring, 2014; Misdirect Movies, Royal Standard, Liverpool, and touring, 2013 and Unspooling: Artists & Cinema, 2010, Cornerhouse, Manchester. Bracey is currently Programme Leader of MA Fine Art at The University of Lincoln, England.
Steve Dutton is an artist and curator who works on both collaborative and individual projects. In the past he worked closely with Steve Swindells (Dutton and Swindells) since 1998, prior to which he was one half of the collaboration of Dutton and Peacock.
Alongside curatorial projects he is currently developing a new body work under the working title of “industry” which is including drawings, sound works, animations, objects and texts.
Individual and collaborative projects have been exhibited throughout the UK and internationally, including The Stag and Hound at PSL in Leeds for which Dutton and Swindells were nominated for the prestigious Northern Art Prize. He has curated a number of exhibitions including a co-curated project ( with Brian Curtin ) for an exhibition for Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre, entitled Possession.
Steve has a studio at Yorkshire Artspace In Sheffield UK and he is based in London and Sheffield.