28th Mar 2019
Thanks for the delicious coffee & apologies for the big delay in getting this to you. Answering these questions feels quite hard right now - some things I don’t want to comment on and say anything I don’t really mean. But I think that’s the real peril involved in writing things down/ making work anyway! So, here’s a diagram of things I’m always thinking about in my work – ((and other work and life))
(see front page of riso)
I’m trying to read more at the moment (as ever tbh) so this is my research. And I’m writing this whilst on residency in Newcastle at the Newbridge Project. I’m here for a month and will be producing another podcast that will be very open in format (more than Group Show 1)
- I’ve done an open call here so will just see what I get. - It’s going to be a fairly informal portrait of NBP at this time – It’s members and inner workings → some interviews, convos, sound pieces etc
Group show series 1 was pretty heavily curated but messy, an attempt at documenting artist led activity in the UK just now (or in 2017). However it was a very narrow portrait, I learnt a lot from it, had some good conversations about its successes and its failures. Some great people I met whilst doing that include Sophie Chapman + Kerri Jeffris, Harriet Plewis, as well as Freya Dooley, The White Pube, and some old pals. But I want to push what this platform can be whilst I’m at NBP and hopefully after… but keeping things messy, open to crit + convo is so important.
A reading list of importance – on the pile to read and re-read
‘Give Up Art’ – Maria Fusco
‘Living A Feminist Life’ – Sara Ahmed
‘Social Practices’ – Chris Kraus
‘Curatorial Activism’ – Lippard + Reilly
‘To Become Two…’ – Alex Martinis Roe
‘Why Are People Being So Nice?’ – Martha Rosler (All of E-Flux ‘Love’ book TBH)
‘Too Close To See: Notes On Friendship…’ – Celine Condorelli (All of support structures)
‘The Friendship Dimension’ – Verwoert
‘Witch Hunt’ – Hannah Black (In TANK)
‘Small White Monkeys’ – Sophie Collins
‘Labours of Love’ – Macushla Robinson
I went to an event ‘BACKEND’ run by 12ø at Transmission recently where discussions around what we want an artist led space to look like was started, how to de-colonise without it being a band-aid or purely optics of structural change or diversity. The importance of creating communities + accountabilities. The importance of experimental space, avoiding playing into institutionalising, capitalising on limited resources of others + socially. I think a network is so important. In Glasgow we have so many amazing people running projects + some people talk but some don’t, it feels competitive and unhelpful at times. Accountability, criticism + conversation are so essential.
How to balance art-work + work-work…? With great difficulty often… I just had to leave a part-time job because they wouldn’t give me time off to come on this residency – my advice is to stand your ground, join a union, spread the word. Fortunately I’m financially stable enough ATM to work part-time and when I get back from residency be able to focus on my own curatorial projects rather than deal with bullshit employers (this is a huge privilege! And I also got paid for this res – sadly not always the case → apply to opps/ res that will feed you in all ways). Last year was crazy for me, I did too much/ I didn’t know how to rest properly, got stressed if I wasn’t doing “something”, but what really is valuable? It’s so important to see what brings you love/ care/ joy/ time/ rest.
Caitlin Merrett King is an artist and curator based in Glasgow. She is the creator of Group Show, a podcast that explores current artist led activity in the UK, which was originally made for a curatorial residency with 12ø. She is currently doing the Practice Makes Practice residency at The NewBridge Project, Newcastle where she is making series 2 of Group Show. Caitlin is Programme Assistant at David Dale Gallery and was part of alternative art course School of the Damned last year. She has also worked on exhibitions and events with Thank You Very Much and Florida, both groups of artists based in Glasgow.