Curated by Bruno Mendonça
The proposal for the fourth and final exhibition of the “Raree Show” program, housed in the Glory Hole space of the Galeria Jaqueline Martins for the first semester of 2015, was to metaphorically transform the space into a kind of “studio”.
The word “studio” – from the Latin root “studere” which can be translated as “eagerness to achieve something”.
The book by curator, art critic and researcher Jens Hoffmann, entitled “The Studio”[i] for the Whitechapel series: Documents of Contemporary Art (The MIT Press, 2012) was used as a starting point for this proposal.
In this book, Hoffmann draws on a reflection on the “studio” as a space for analyzing the transformation in art production since the 1960s, in other words, the transition from the studio space (considering its physicality for art production) to another space with the potential for multiple forms of creation and participation.
Throughout the history of the atelier – the setting known for the production of “art” – it gradually developed and the image of the “studio” became increasingly present. We can observe this transition during the first avant-garde and especially with artist of the so-called second avant-garde[ii] who brought a new, expanded vision of this space for art production. Any space was to become a place for artistic production in the latter half of the 20th century – demystifying and removing the aura and romanticism of these settings. Some artists would enter music studios and editing stations, while others would make nightclubs and the street their workplace. The works of Andy Warhol at Factory, as well as Bruce Nauman’s videos in his studios reveal these transformations, to name but two examples. Warhol and Nauman, for example, as Hoffmann says, created critical strategies through the use of the studio, using it as a starting point for their works.
Based on these reflections, and on the proposal to occupy the Glory Hole space as a “temporary studio”, I invited artists I have been studying in recent years and who produce work that is totally connected to these questions and in an even more complex way – for this is a generation from a reality where the virtual and digital are part of this process. These artists are inserted in what Hoffmann indicates as “post-studio practices”, closely related to a generation strongly influenced by the changes that occurred in the art world from the 1960s onwards, and by the advent of the Internet from the 1980s onwards. These artists already make art working from a new idea of studio, in which the notion of physicality is lost, the studio for this generation is a mobile, flexible and portable setting, as well as being a space of multiple operations and interactions.
Difficult to classify and categorize, the work of these artists is multifaceted, interconnecting with other areas, such as music. The relationships these artists have with the music field in general was also put forward as a consideration for the curators, for while the visual arts studio has undergone transformations over the decades, the same has happened in the music field, which shares the same word to designate this space of creation and production. In this regard, the 1960s represents a milestone, as that was effectively when the visual arts and music connected, combined as a hybrid and expanded, presenting works that complexify the studio space in both the areas of music and visual arts – even after the first experiments performed during the early 20th-century avant-garde movements. Artists such as Laurie Anderson, Yoko Ono, Vito Acconci and Brian Eno are examples of this movement.
In this final edition of the “Raree Show” program, therefore, the Glory Hole space was designed as a “non-place”, which when occupied would, through the multimedia production of these artists, become a zone of experimentation and performativity.