My first wish for the Laboratory of Dissent was to invite all artists involved to express their reasons for willing to take part in this experimental practice; exploring Dissent within a large collaboration and in the context of an institutional Art Gallery seemed like an opportunity for me to question the reasons for being an artist and redefine the “Real Value of Art”, as highlighted by Alistair Hudson in his Axis Interview “What is Art For?”http://www.axisweb.org/features/news-and-views/beyond-the-gallery/what-is-art-for-part-five/.
As a first act of dissent, I entered the gallery whilst group 1 was out to fetch furnitures and set up camp in their space.
I had first imagined that they may wish to stop my action and claim their space back, but, on their return, they chose to observe the process and photograph it; it was mentioned at later stage during discussions that the tent seemed to fit in perfectly with the theme of the week.
On setting up a micro private space(the tent) within the public space, I realised i made myself a safe heaven for the duration of the project, allowing me to withdraw and reflect in a protected thinking frame, without interference, interruptions and distraction from the OTHER; a first instinctive response to negociating conflicts.
I designed Agitation 1 as a way to ask very basic questions to challenge artists and arts institutions in their consensus that ‘Art is good for you’.
I wish to use the basics, and somewhat shortcut questions, to trigger deeper reflections and articulate the reasons for art to its very source; the moment of making and creating, as a way to make a difference.
” Can Art feed the world?”
“How can art do for the migrants drowning at sea?”
“How can Art thrive when my friend’s cancer can not be cured?”
” What is the real Value of Art?”
During the development of the Laboratory of Dissent, I will use the tent as a research space in which i have placed all the books i wish to read and from which i have extracted moments that triggered new directions for my work.
On the first day, i was reading “la Poetique de L’espace”, Gaston Bachelard; 10 years ago, i was rejected by a tutor from my MA application at WSA for being french and not having read this book. As a Foreign Artist, I also wish to explore the consensus within the academic realm which determine the validity of an art practice within the British Art Institution.
I will use the time, space and activities of the laboratory as a way to explore how relationships develop and how we negotiate our ways through arising conflicts. The gallery space will become a lab/microcosm of the wider society where we experiment and learn.
Laurence Dube Rushby is part of Week 2, Domesticating Conflicts, exploring conflicts within the private space as Artists, Mothers and Foreigners. The group also acts as “Agitators” during the rest of the project, within the space occupied by other groups.
Expect the unexpected.
Laurence is collaborating with Yonat Nitzan-Green, Susan Francis and Clarisse Wisser during Week 2 of the Laboratory of Dissent project, a new CAS exhibition at The Winchester Gallery. Week 2 ‘Domesticating Conflicts’ takes place from Tuesday 1st September – Friday 4th September 2015.