During the Laboratory of Dissent the Winchester Gallery becomes a site for investigation rather than a showcase of finished work. Fourteen CAS artists will divide into 4 groups and each will occupy the gallery for a week, using Chantal Mouffe’s essay ‘Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces’ as a starting point for collaboration. This is an experimental exhibition exploring dissent as a working methodology. For visitors it is an opportunity to be party to the process of collaboration and creativity. We will document how the project develops on the blog so please watch this space! Scroll down to read what we have planned.
Week 1. If Not This, Then What?
When: Monday 24st August – Friday 28th August 2015
‘If Not This Then What?’ uses the format of a Public Consultation project to ‘unveil all that is repressed by the dominant consensus’ and make ‘visible what the dominant consensus tends to obscure and obliterate.’ During their residency Amy Wyatt, Dawn Evans & Lydia Heath will be conducting an investigation into the political structures and power relationship between institutions and stakeholders inherent in contemporary galleries, and inviting the public to join them in a re-imagining of what the contemporary gallery space could become.
Artists: Lydia Heath, Dawn Evans, Amy Wyatt
Week 2. Domesticating Conflicts
When: Tuesday 1st September – Friday 4th September 2015
The political scientist Chantal Mouffe, argues that the task of democracy is not to exclude or deny a conflict which cannot be eradicated, but rather to ‘domesticate’ it.’ Week 2 artists identify themselves as Mothers/Artists/Foreigners. The domestic space, a place where work and life develops and unfolds, is an agonistic space where conflicts emerge and become visible. Some are resolved whereas others remain unresolved and are often underlying. During the full project artists will position themselves as ‘agitators’ in order to bring a potentially suppressed conflict to the surface of visibility and consciousness. The gallery will become a Domestic Laboratory where artists and participants will be invited to invent stratagems to negotiate the arising conflicts. Visit us and expect the unexpected.
Artists: Susan Francis, Laurence Dube-Rushby, Yonat Nitzan-Green, Clarisse Wisser
Week 3. Are We In Or Out?
When: Monday 7th September – Friday 11th September 2015
Meaning is made not given. Whilst cultural consensus informs the accepted, dominant interpretation of what we see and hear, there is always the option of dissent. If you dare to question it, new viewpoints emerge. Visit the WSA Gallery at Winchester School of Art and play an active role in making meaning. Kirsty, Issac and Maija will be investigating cultural narratives and hegemonic structures, drawing inspiration from daily newspapers as well as interactions within the gallery and the surrounding environment. Their work subverts and extends ideas we are all familiar with and raises the question: ‘are we in our out?’
Artists: Isaac Whitcombe, Kirsty Smith, Maija Liepins
Week 4. From Earth: Prototype A
When: Week beginning Tuesday 15th September – Friday 18th September
A lo-fi sci-fi installation set in the B-movie spaceways of Dissent. Entering a gallery space configured and divided into Propositional Zones derived from the Mouffe text, participants will be invited to engage with a series of encounters.They will be taken through a discursive maze that both parodies and engages with the notions of dissent and its academic context. Working with the notions of narrative and game, a context is laid of linearity, rules, permissions and choices of engagement. The viewer/ participant/ reader will be placed in a position of choice throughout.
Artists: David Dixon, Peter Driver, Helen Northcott
Week 5. The Laboratory of Dissent Symposium
When: Week beginning Monday 24th September, dates t.b.c
More info. coming soon
You can find us at:
The Winchester Gallery
Winchester School of Art
University of Southampton