Artists: 01 Haruko Kumakura / 熊倉 晴子 / & AGSMAM:023 / Agatha Gothe-Snape / アガサ‧ゴス-スネイプ / Yuki Okumura / 奥村 雄樹 / Hiroaki Morita / 森田 浩彰 / Hirofumi Isoya / 磯谷 博史 /Masashi Echigo / 越後 正志 / Erica Masuya /  升谷 絵里香 / / Nao Osada / 長田 奈緒 / Joel Kirkham / ジョエル‧カーカム / Goya Curtain / Takuro Tamayama / 玉山 拓郎 / Yohei Watanabe / 渡邉 庸平 / Yoshihiro Ishitsuka / 石塚 嘉宏 / Rintarou Takahashi / 高橋 臨太郎 / Eugene Choi / ユージーン‧チョイ / Mitchell Cumming / ミッチェル‧カミング /Dylan Quirk / ディラン‧クルーク /Functional Sculpture / 機能的彫刻 /Jesse Hogan / ジェシー‧ホーガン /Agatha Gothe-Snape / アガサ‧ゴス-スネイプ / Tokyo University of the Arts, Toride Art Museum. 

東京芸術大学、取手美術館 2月2018.02.00

For the 2nd year Doctoral exam exhibition held at Tokyo University of the Arts, Toride Art Museum / 東京芸術大学、取手美術館, In February 2018,  I presented the artwork titled, “Platform for shared praxis | Put Your Object On My Platform” #03. The work featured a large white platform or stage which functioned as the display structure for selected objects, artefacts and documents by the 19 participating artists and selected contributors. “Platform for Shared Praxis” | is an exercise in collective exhibition dialogue and curatorial strategies. It aims to show both the diversity in current art production but also to draw parallels between artists’ practices. 

The selections in Platform... #03 aimed to bring together various artists’ whose practices intersect within Japan but also considers international dialogues through the selection of other international artists. I selected the artists based not only out of chance association, but also for the conceptual and aesthetic connections considered between each artists work and their practice. I invited each participant with a letter of request to participate. I talked with each artist about the selection of the Object and what each object could communicate about this concept and process / conversation / discourse / dialogue. 

Each artist had the option to select a piece, make a new piece for the specific context, or allow me to select an object from their previous works or collections. The artists / curators were asked to reply to the Invitation using the following reply by the given date (2018.01.20): Yes, I can participate / Sorry I cannot participate. The Letter of Request continued: If it is not possible for you to participate or contribute an object, please inform me as soon as possible. The Requirements:

1. The Object, Artefact or Document. 

2. The Title, Materials and Date of production or selection

3. A short concept statement about the Object.

The piece also includes a set of instructions for the invited artists or participants, a curatorial limitation which balances the overall size and distribution of each object displayed in the project: Invitation to contribute an Art Object to this project, Instructions: The object can be made, or readymade, a new piece or an older piece from your previous works. Size: the object should be no bigger than the size of a basketball or a small box, maximum 50cm x 50cm x 50cm. Your object could also be a document, book, publication or even a video on a small monitor. You will be fully credited for your object / artwork with a full citation attached to the object printed on the wall and featured in a catalogue which will be displayed next to the platform. 

“Platform for Shared Praxis | Put Your Object On My Platform” #03 shares a visible conceptual lineage to works such as Mel Bochner’s ‘Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art’, 1966, as discussed in Section 1.4. It proposes curatorial questions but it also questions the framework of collaboration and exhibition structure. As an exercise it was organized like a group exhibition where the selection is made by the organizing artist or curator. The method of positioning each object was decided in the chronological order that I had received each piece from each contributor. This meant there was a democracy of value awarded each object and document however as several professors critiqued, through this method of framing the display, the collaborative function of the project becomes obsolete. This critique was based on the opinion that; collaboration was disabled because 1. I made decisions choosing some of the objects from the participants work as opposed to enforcing the rule that it must be their own choice. And 2. because I decided on the placement of each object on the platform based on my chronological framework as opposed to having each artist place their object themselves.  

The formal structure of the artwork came from considering the structure of the walls of the gallery or museum collapsing from the vertical axis to laying down on the horizontal plane of the gallery floor. By composing this structure of walls horizontally placed and stacked as a stage the conventions of a group exhibition of works hung around the walls of the space are instead displayed all together on a single structure in the middle of the room. This gesture was aimed to turn the exhibition inside out / reversing the convention of works hung around the room with the viewer in the center.  The viewers eye is led down towards the platform giving them a complete overview of all the works at once. Hypothetically creating the sensation of a singular artwork made up of multiple parts, by multiple authors, with multiple concepts and histories. 

The whole idea of this collapsed wall structure as platform doubled with a deconstruction of the curated group exhibition, was to serve the notion of a curatorial or collaborative piece that could simultaneously exist as a multi-authored group work and a singular sculptural platform. In the 2nd Year Doctoral critical exam, other questions raised by the academics were; Who’s artwork is this? Is the artist the author of the artwork or is it authored by all the participants contributing to the platform? To answer this question, I would like to argue that, the meaning, concept or function of this work is to arouse those very questions. It is supposed to make the viewer question authorship, to ask curatorial questions about the ‘Artist as Curator’, and to question the idea of collaboration. My second answer regarding this project “Platform for Shared Praxis” is that, as the artist I am the author of the Framework. That includes both the concept and the physical structure. In this sense, in this work, I construct the frames of context and display. I also become the conduit of the network of connections between the involved artists and artworks. 

This work features as a part of my ongoing research into collaboration and curatorial strategies, however it is still experimental in nature and is continuing to evolve each time it is represented in different situations and contexts. This 3rd version of the platform project #03 was specifically made to address 2 particular contexts. 1. It was presented as an exam piece for the 2nd year Doctoral exams. In this way my curatorial rational included selecting artists related to the context of Tokyo University of the Arts, “The Contextual Frame”. 

Secondly it was made to respond to the architectural parameters of the space I was allocated in The Tokyo University of the Arts, Toride Art Museum / 東京芸術大学、取手美術館. That meant that the material and size of the platform itself, “The Structural Frame” was based on the limitations and dimensions of the Toride Museum 取手美術館の構造  /  structure.  The idea of featuring objects and documents selected from the participating artists to create a collective survey of connected contemporary practices, is what essentially holds this work together, The ‘Conceptual Framework’ of this piece. The critical and investigative nature of artists authorship and collaboration is what enables it to keep transforming through different sites, contexts and immaterialities. 

Since T.A.L. 2012, the second “Platform for Shared Praxis” #02 in 2014 (fig.68), and the third version discussed here “Platform for Shared Praxis” #03 in 2018, I have been considering the works reproducibility for different context in future exhibitions. The platform can change its sculptural and formal structure, and address a different set of parameters each time it is exhibited in a new context with new contributions. The next Installment of “Platform for Shared Praxis”#04 is already programmed to be installed at C3 Contemporary Artspace, Melbourne Australia in 2020. It will feature some of the pieces by artist that were installed in #03 as well as a new selection of artists objects and documents related to the exhibition location of the C3 Artspace.