Competition, resistance, negotiation and change: these are the dynamics that comprise the curatorial backbone of An Infiltration to an Invitation. Staged in the context of the Cultural Olympiad, InIn (our institutional abbreviation of the title) brings these processes into play in a way that challenges the ingrained habits of the institution, requiring those inside to re-examine usual practices and patterns of thought. It’s not quite twenty-four hours into the run of the show and already the title, format and presentation of one work have been altered, another work added, and several objects shifted in their places. The curator continues his struggle with one artist who wants to change the title of the show. Tonight’s symposium will likely provoke further changes, in addition to the planned alterations that will come about through public events. But what does InIn do for or with the audience and their expectations and questions? Ideally, the audience is invited to enter in the process, negotiating the artistic meanings of the interventions that the artists have staged. As the opening gambit of the CAG Blog, I want to make that invitation to the audience explicit, inviting your thoughts on what cultural meanings and values might be defined by the works presented, and the processes by which they are being displayed and disseminated. It seems to me that the creation of shared meaning is subject to precisely the same dynamics as the exhibition itself, requiring alliances, challenges and invention from all parties. So this is foremost an invitation to the audience to put your interpretations into competition with the artists, curators and the rest of us institutional folk who’ve activated this project.
- Christina Ritchie