I’m very excited to be engaging with five young artists who work in varied formats and modes of expression. We come from diverse social and geopolitical realities, yet there appear to be common concerns emanating from a connective cultural ethos and the rapidly changing built environments that surround us. There are overlaps as particular issues like mass violence, cultural identity; gender and sexuality become resonant themes. Though each artist here has a unique way of conceiving and charting leitmotifs - they seem to combine an approach that blends social investigation with personal narratives and experiential tonality.
Coming from art schools across the country, at this juncture we gather to escape academic rigour, and work in a syncretic manner. PEERS is an opportunity that encourages us to be unafraid to question some of the things we have been taught to take for granted, where are can think outside quotes and where expression is not guided by entrenched conventions and commercial currents.
Though I have been labeled critic, I perceive my role here as a collaborator working towards amalgamating disparate creative journeys. This residency provides me a chance to closely observe thought trajectories and ideation, serving as a laboratory to probe and participate in creative processes. I see myself deriving great value and insight from working closely with emerging artists as we maneuver through discussions, intentions and obstacles as a collective.
In a discursive space such as this – the visible culmination maybe an essay, a blog and audiovisual documentation but it is the intangibles – questions and dilemmas raised during this time that become exploratory possibilities and avenues for fresh debates. The past ten days here and my interactions with the resident artists have already got me thinking of a whole range of issues. I’m significantly interested in looking into the manner in which traditional knowledge is merged with contemporary art practices, and in how community related processes can be ethically and effectively displayed in an exhibition space. Further, with emerging artistic trends that blend research methodologies and technology related approaches, I believe it is time to create new habitats for art-works. While institutional inertia continues – much else can be done to capture the present creative moment. The six of us, hope to start here...