Paul O’Neill – Slow Prototypes

How can a collaboration between an incoming contemporary artist, and a local artist-artisan, happen beyond the default position of the first asking the latter to objectify an idea? How can the skills and practice of the contemporary artist affect the skills and practice of the artist-artisan, and vice-versa? How can the traditional hierarchical relationship turn into a collaborative one, with mutual input and affectation?

Slow Prototypes, a project curated by SSW with support from Creative Scotland’s Creative Futures programme, is taking place between August and December 2012, and will host three collaborations between contemporary artists and artists-artisans, each followed closely by a writer. Starting next Monday, Daniel Seiple (from Berlin Sculpture Park) will work alongside Gavin Smith, a local woodworker, with Paul O’Neill as writer-respondent; Roddy Buchanan (Glasgow) will work alongside local farmers, with Christian Nerf (Cape Town) as writer-respondent: finally Mick Wilson (Dublin) will work alongside Merlyn Riggs, with Gabriel Gbadamosi (London) as writer-respondent.

The works and processes that emerge from these collaborations will be assembled in a publication to be launched in 2013.

On the 16th of August, from 7.30 to 9.30, Paul O’Neill will be visiting Scottish Sculpture Workshop to host a talk on curatorial practice in relation to public art as part of SSW’s ongoing Slow Prototypes project.

Paul O’Neill will also be joined by Suzanne Mooney, a visual artist whose work is an investigation into the sculptural qualities of photography.

Come along to have a listen to the talks, and keep your eyes on this blog for more upcoming information surrounding Slow Prototypes!

Paul O’Neill on The Curatorial Constellation: Durational Approaches to Public Art

Paul O’Neill’s lecture will explore how ‘durational’ processes to public art curating and commissioning have emerged as an alternative to nomadic, itinerant and short-termist approaches in recent years. Taking five durational projects as its starting point: The Blue House (Het Blauwe Huis), IJburg, The Netherlands (2004–2009); Beyond, Leidsche Rijn, The Netherlands (1999 –2009); Trekroner Art Plan, Roskilde, Denmark (2001–present); Creative Egremont, Cumbria, UK (ongoing since 1999) and Edgware Road Project, London, UK (2009–2011), this lecture provides a dynamic assessment of different curatorial methodologies alongside critical reflections on durational projects as counter-spectacles. It will explore how and why artists and curator-producers are adopting durational approaches to commissioning contemporary art for specific places and how each process conceives of time as part of a cumulative curatorial practice.

Paul O’Neill is an independent curator, artist and writer based in Bristol.  He has co-curated more than fifty exhibition projects across the world. His writing has been published in many books, catalogues, journals and magazines and he is a regular contributor to Art Monthly. He is reviews editor for Art and the Public Sphere Journal and on the editorial board of The Exhibitionist Journal and The Journal of Curatorial Studies. He is editor of the curatorial anthology, Curating Subjects (2007), and co-editor of Curating and the Educational Turn with Mick Wilson (2010), both published by de Appel and Open Editions (Amsterdam and London), and author of Locating the Producers: Durational Approaches to Public Art (Amsterdam, Vaiz, 2011) edited with Claire Doherty. He recently completed the authored book with The Culture of Curating, and the Curating of Culture(s), (MIT Press, 2012).

Suzanne Mooney – Artist Talk:

During her talk at SSW, Suzanne Mooney will discuss her most recent work, (The Edge of Collapse and Equilateral Coercion) which stems from an inquiry into the collapse of objects into their representational form and the potential sculptural qualities of photography.

Central to her practice is a deliberate unsettling of our perception of both pictorial and architectural space. Line, form, colour and reflection all conspire to create a sense of placelessness. The objects depicted within these works are all structures that are used for display, acrylic props and wooden platforms typically found in the presentation of luxury goods within a retail setting. Unmoored from their usual context, these empty forms become disarming, questioning conventional notions of functionality, commodity and value exchange.

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2005, her work has been acclaimed for its original approach to photography and image making. Solo exhibitions include, ‘The Edge of Collapse’, Spike Island, Bristol (2012), ‘Equilateral Coercion’, The Old Police Station, London (2011) ‘The Secret Life of Things’, BCA Gallery, Bedford (2008) ‘Decommissioned Camera Series’, The Gallery of Photography, Dublin (2007) and ‘Photographing Girls’, ‘Viewfinder Gallery, London (2007)

Recent group exhibition in various national and international spaces include, Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin (2012) Contemporary Art Society, London (2011), Farmleigh House Gallery, Dublin (2011), Moody Gallery, Trajector Art Fair, Brussels (2010), Arnolfini, Bristol (2009), Gimpel Fils, London (2008); Arles Photography Festival, France (2008) Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy (2008), and Dashanzi International Art Festival, Beijing, China (2006).

Suzanne’s work also is currently featured in the summer issue of Source Magazine, with accompanying text by Chris Clarke if you would like more of an insight into her most recent practice as a prelude to her upcoming talk on the 16th.

Below are images from her recent works, The Edge of Collapse installation, and Equilateral Coercion III & IV.

You can also view more of her work at the following address:

One response to “Paul O’Neill – Slow Prototypes

  1. Pingback: Gavin Smith and Daniel Seiple at SSW « scottishsculptureworkshop·

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