LAUNCH: Thursday 22 September, 5.30-9pm
CONTINUES: 23-25 September 2016
Rogue Project Space is excited to be exhibiting work by Rogue Artists’ Studios (Rogue) members; Jan Chlebik, Hilary Jack, Sam Meech, Evangelia Spiliopoulou, and Mike Chavez-Dawson with Shaw & Shaw at The Manchester Contemporary 2016.
I’m really pleased to be respresenting Rogue Artists Studios and Project Space at The Manchester Contemporary art fair this weekend. It’s a chance to show some of the work that artists at Rogue develop, and re-state the importance of Rogue in the Manchester art ecology, and indeed the importance of all affordable space for artists in supporting practice.
That said, I have some reservations about showing my work in the context of an art market, as I’m not used to exhibiting in order to ‘sell’ work. My experience at Kinetica Art Fair in 2014 was enlightening, though financially costly (£566 on materials, travel, acoomodation and stall fixtures), and only emphasised to me that on the whole I do not make things for market, but instead survive through the commission itself, or more often sharing the process through workshops. The truth is, I am no craftsman, and I cannot make things that are good enough to sell; instead I make works that exist to prompt an idea or question, usually in a specific context. At Kinetica I tried to approach this by offering my artistic labour for sale – an idea that many people felt was conceptually engaging (one chap said that my work was “the closest thing I’ve seen to art in here”), but which failed to translate into any actual bookings for me to ‘work’.
This time round, I have decided to look at the notion of value again, but this time questioning the value and originality of the art object in the context of the Art Fair. I have produced a number of knitted copies of the UNIQUE KNITWEAR LTD sign belonging to our Rogue neighbours at Crusader Mill. Each sign is exactly the same (bar mistakes and dropped stitches), and is part of an ‘unlimited’ edition. They are essentially stock – no one sign is special, there is no ‘series’. I can knock these out whenever I like. I have also priced them based on measurable variables – materials, overheads, and of course, labour, plus a 20% agency fee for Rogue. It is a practical and economic approach to an absurd environment in which value is often ascribed and opaque.