_we three_ a.k.a. matthew richardson, shane munro and christian tonner just opend the doors of a new off space in frankfurt and started the _one_continuous_exhibition_
here their introductory text
“There is just one continuous exhibition, always.” Us (We Three), 2007
The idea of the project is to create a space, which is predicated on re-invention, criticism and discursive interchange. This will be achieved by the implementation of a simple framework that, open to all members of the school, will exist as a single, ongoing, exhibition subject to continual revision.
From the start it is clear that One Continuous Exhibition wishes to break with the format and intentions of the space’s previous use. One Continuous Exhibition wishes to do away with blindly received protocols, which are unquestioningly adopted from commercial art venues. We believe it is ourselves, acting as art students, and not as pseudo gallerist’s, who should experiment with the space’s theoretical underpinning as much as we explore what its form and content can be. In doing this we do not simply seek to refine a set of display case answers, which are as dead as the vitrines in which they are housed, but rather wish to create living questions – the social over the stale, the discursive over the discrete. Crucially, One Continuous Exhibition should function as much as a working studio or open laboratory as it should an exhibition platform or interface for public display.
What will differentiate One Continuous Exhibition from other exhibition venues in the City is the nature of its single ongoing exhibition and its continual attitude towards editing and revision. To begin with we suggest dividing interested parties into self-designed groups who will be given the opportunity to make contributions to One Continuous Exhibition - at points throughout its duration. At the moment the duration of the project is up for debate but we think something like six months might be a reasonable timeframe - certainly six months seems like a long enough period to propagate interesting and ongoing dialogues and exchanges. To achieve this discursive environment One Continuous Exhibition will have one defining attribute, which is that no work is ever to be removed. This means each new incoming installment will necessarily have to contend with the previous installments. Updates will therefore be as much about creating new works, as they will be re-hanging and re-contextualizing existing work and installations.
As for what incoming groups may do - this is again up for grabs. Whether they introduce and display discrete objects or they invite other artists, filmmakers, writers or architects to make performances, lectures and events, all will be welcome. So far the only stipulation is to contend with what always already exists be that in a negative, progressive or transgressive manner!
“Painting is always a risk. With each brush stroke that you add you hope the work will change for the better. You do not know this for certain but you make it anyway.” Wilhelm de Kooning, along time ago.
“’The Work Shown in this Space is a Response to the Existing Conditions and/or Work Previously Shown Within the Space III’ was a progressive group show ran for a luxurious period of almost five months. It was not the first of its kind, but modeled after a 1978/79 series of exhibitions initiated by Peter Nadin in his New York apartment, and a 303 Gallery sequel in 1992. Each artist was invited to add to the work already installed in the gallery.” Dominic Eichler reviewing ‘The Work Shown in this Space’ at Neugerreimschneider. Frieze Magazine, September 2000.
One Continuous Exhibition wishes to take the sentiment of de Kooning and mix it with parts of the structure offered by ‘The Work Shown…’ One significant difference with the three incarnations of Nadin’s exhibition is that curatorially the works were preserved both physically and conceptually. Meaning throughout the duration of the exhibitions the works remained intact at all times. Whilst One Continuous Exhibition is interested in the progressive element it also acknowledges the importance of de Kooning in the sense that the added brush stroke, i.e. incoming update, may in-fact ruin the previous version. In this sense existing installments will be considered as raw materials, which may remain in tact or may be used to create new forms or structures. Post update nothing is to be treated as sacred! Rather in the manner of Seth Price everything is available up for grabs.
‘When Attitudes Become Form.’ 1969 exhibition held at the Kunsthalle Bern, curated by Harald Szeeman.
‘When Attitudes Break or Repair Form.’ Us (We three), 2007
“Something these laboratory research projects have in common is that there are different layers of involvement for the artists: some contribute a work, but often a new work is triggered, and others contribute structural elements for the installation or exhibition architecture. In order to understand the forces which are effective for the visual artist it is necessary to look at other fields, not just artists but architects, designers and writers in order to create a pooling of knowledge. I think a curator should not stand in the way. This is my idea of curating: not only to ask the artist to do a piece, but to get involved in a different, often more intense, way.” Hans Ulrich Obrist –Laboritorium
In the manner of some of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s exhibitions, such as Laboratorium, Cities on the Move or Do It we think One Continuous Exhibition should be a project that does not have a predetermined goal. Following on from this - the loose framework we have nominated above should itself be subject to revision and in this way all information and arguments should be seen as temporal questions & positions.
Lastly we believe that One Continuous Exhibition should be made by ourselves in our capacity as art school students. It should ask more questions than it provides answers to and it should exist until it ceases to be interesting.