PV: Thank you for taking part in this informal residency lasting the length of an evening. We will start by introducing the concepts and thoughts we would like to unravel with you tonight. This will be followed by a tour through the studio / build up / exhibition by William Mackrell concluding his residency here at Krinzinger Projekte, followed by a dinner back in this room. If you have brought objects, projections or sounds as your personal introduction feel free to interrupt and side track the evening to introduce us to your former or future self… interrupt if you want to change the image or the tone of the discussion.
As you may know or perhaps not we were invited by William to take part in the last day of his residency. We did not curate the exhibition but are hosted as a foreign voice discussing issues with William that are central to his working process here at Krinzinger and you from your respective positions as gallerists, artists, curators, collectors.
The position we are granted here is not an obvious one and it is thanks to the openness of the gallery, its staff and its support that we are able to discuss the conditions of a residency and project space within a current understanding of the wider conditions of artistic production within the world today. Ashlee Connery and myself are here residents with you tonight trying to grasp ideas surrounding concepts of being a resident. From FormContent´s position – which is a curatorial initiative this line of research, practice we titled behavioural attitudes. It informs our way of placing daily life in negotiation with the institutions we are confronted with. It is conceived as an informal and perhaps intimate moment of reflection and debate involving various figures (artists/curators/thinkers) and, as such, intended for a limited number of people therefore operating as a salon. But lets get back to the core now and the reason why we are all here, the practice that leads us to these modes of reflection.
William has been a resident at Krinzinger for the first time in 2013 after which he went to London and studied an MFA Fine arts at Goldsmiths College. He cut the residency short and postponing his exhibition here in Vienna. The relationship with the gallery has been ongoing, the influences by its staff, the city, the artists of the gallery, the specific actionist history have been a continuous influence to his practice. He credits his first experience in the residency with the start of his scratching practice, beginning with the series Exposed (all my possessions).
The exhibition here is set up linearly, chronologically if you want. Though spatially it has been interrupted many times. What is to be expected from a retrospective exhibition, what might feel pretentious is here used as a manner to understand the coming and going of one out of context. Revisiting oneself, ones works, ones environment and the questions of renegotiating and estrangement.
AC: To be the subject interrupted is to be a cyclical foreigner. Entering from out of context, he explores his surroundings with a certain naiveté and interest, responding either openly or closed to various residual effects imprinting on his practice. In a constant state of nomadism and collaboration with distant peers and remnants of pioneers with whom he has brief contact through chance encounters and ‘opportunities’. In this case, he returns, meets his former self in remaining bits from his first visit, now again an alien amongst aliens, he cannot re-create his previous vision or have the same interactions as before, nor integrate as if born from that place. His constant coming and going, as a result of seasonal resources and shifting interests, keeps him in a constant state of estrangement yet with an ever expanding ’network’ – this contemporary temporality is here observed.
When it no longer fits, she stated –
I begin to wonder if one can breakdown the processes of alienating and de-alienating, how one becomes familiar or unfamiliar to acquaintances, colleagues or even friends.
The patterns or processes for knowing and being known, for enacting proximity through gestures of interest, recognition and regurgitation could be seen as a kind of choreography – such as: ‘what a pleasure to meet you’ – (staging a bit of comfortable for-play) ‘what do you do?’ -(gauging the interests of your audience and buying time for considering your response) – ‘What brought you to Vienna?’ -feeling the limitations of one’s experiences) ‘do you like it here?’ (and the limitations for radical departure). Increasing or decreasing in tempo through the intensity of these interactions we come to know some surface which may be recreated on the surface of other things, of works, of the body.
Once having departed from this context – reflecting back on it, trying to continue the progress made in one’s practice while here, or find similar pretzel – the question arises how does distance write itself within the subject, how is it embodied and performed? In a global world defined by vast mobility of people, “home” becomes a constructed idea rather than a real place. It is a mobile concept that travels with us, subject to multiple revisions and reconstructions, a concept displaced as much as we are. Split between the memory of a lost home and the longing for a new one, the subject finds himself in a continuous state of un-residence. The condition of belonging to a place sits in the realm of the wishful – a former generation of rooting vs the contemporary ‘globalised youth’ incentivised by economic realities. With the blurring differences between global cities and the awareness that a “nation” is nothing but a fictional construct, do we ever belong to a place or aren’t we all foreigners?
Let´s focus for a moment on this idea of internalised foreigner. And I guess this might be the part where we meet each other. Where we might or might not recognise a foreigner as part of ones own identity. Now as is accustomed allow us to introduce you professionally to one other.