Circulation Part 1: Inner Dialogue and Material Translation
Circulation Part 1: Inner Dialogue and Material Translation aimed to address misconceptions that art and research are separate entities. The session took place in an exhibition format, featuring artworks including paintings, digital prints, installation and sculptures. It was set up in the form of a studio critique, divided into two parts, with two groups of participants. Participants played an active role in delivering the conversations as their contribution to the theme of Against Delivery. The artists for their part delivered the artwork. In the first half, we invited participants to respond to the artwork directly, knowing only the titles of the work. When the participants asked questions, the artists chose whether to answer or not. By contrast, in the second iteration, the artists introduced their work in the context of Inner Dialogue and Material Translation, and the participants responded afterwards.
In the first part, having been set up as a challenge to participants, we tested whether the artworks themselves were able to translate the artists’ inner dialogue during the making process, outside of any supporting articulation of research findings or questions in a written or spoken form. Some participants started from the expectation that the research questions should be verbalised by the artists alongside their work. This expectation was not met, and, through the refusal to explain the ideas behind the research verbally, the responses became instead a direct dialogue with the artwork in an immediate unmediated encounter. We tried to preserve the direct feelings provoked by the art but found that participants were deeply attached to words in explanation and it did not come naturally to forgo those linguistic cues and frameworks.
We opened a dialogue in the second part in which artists talked about their research to see how much information was shared. The artists made brief introductions to their work and discussed the works individually. This may have seemed difficult from the point of view of the participants because of the potential to influence the understanding that might have been gained from the work on its own. We followed this with a conversation about how much to share, the responsibility of the research to share their research process, and what is shared. This led to questions about how work is framed in the two institutional contexts of research and the exhibition.