I’ll be in your camp: will you be in mine?
Curator: Jennie Guy
Artists: Karl Burke, Naomi Sex
Community Partner: ‘The Brunner’ aka St Paul’s CBS
Website/Social Media: www.jennieguy.com; www.artschool.ie
Date: May – June 2017
Commission Type: Open Call
Commissioner Name: Grangegorman Public Art Working Group, Grangegorman Development Agency
Per Cent for Art: Yes
Naomi Sex with transition years in ‘The Brunner’ Karl Burke working with ‘The Brunner’
Workshop series with Karl Burke and Naomi Sex and Transition Year students curated by Jennie Guy, St Paul’s CBS and Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) September 2016 – April 2017.
The second node of The Masterplan split into two branches that crossed over and grew in different environments. For this, artists and lecturers at TU Dublin Grangegorman Karl Burke and Naomi Sex were invited to work with transition year students from The Brunner, also located in Dublin 7. This phase was titled I’ll Be in Your Camp, Will You Be in Mine and took place first in TU Dublin and then in The Brunner, having the effect of bringing two communities together who might not have met otherwise.
In November 2016, students from The Brunner were invited to TU Dublin to work with Naomi Sex to get experience with traditional printing techniques whose method has carried on to this day in the production of microelectronics. They learned the process of etching – a process that involves inscribing wax-coated copper plates, exposing these plates to nitric acid, removing the wax, allowing the ink settle into the corroded scratches and then using a large hand-cranked press to print the ink- soaked topography. Having access to these tools and to this tuition opened up the possibility of learning this precise craft and of gaining new insight into the labour of image reproduction before our current era of internet excess.
In April 2017, Karl Burke went to visit the students at their school and delivered a set of classes in sculpture. He introduced the students to the One Minute Sculptures of Erwin Wurm, whose sculptural practice involves working through poses in which either he or his models engage with objects in odd and unexpected ways, producing encounters with these objects that are otherworldly. Burke challenged his students to come up with their own One Minute Sculptures, reimagining their relation- ships with objects and with each other. In another class Burke asked them to redefine their classroom by marking out spaces using the furniture at hand and the mark-mak- ing capacity of electrical tape. The students built and marked out fort-like structures and futuristic bridges and took part in group critiques where they learned the skills of presenting and giving constructive feedback. Each guided the others through their processes, the turns the structures took and the difficulties encountered – one stu- dent remarked that it was difficult to know when to stop.
Usually a masterplan invokes the idea of a centralized and aloof genius, predicting events and interactions like a rational oracle with spreadsheets, maps and diagrams – however, this project wasn’t top-down in its approach, more like side- ways and stir crazy. Established art practices were brought into contact with both children and irreverent teenagers – the classroom was extruded into uncertain and new terrain. Students from both The Brunner and Dublin 7 Educate Together found themselves thinking through processes that were both odd and quite specialised that the usual curriculum might not have opened up. This gives the students another set of lenses for viewing the world around them. Ambiguity is not often lingered on in problem-solving school time but it might be the most useful zone for orientation during times of uncertainty and flux, times when looking at things obliquely becomes necessary to gain new footing.
Read the press release for I’ll be in your camp: will you be in mine? here
- ARTIST BIOS
Jennie is an artist, curator and educator based in Dublin. Her artistic practice embraces visual, textual, performance, and event-based output. She is interested in the rituals surrounding artistic production, seeking alternate modes of observation and response. She is the founder and director of Art School, a platform that establishes new interfaces between contemporary art and sites of education. She develops workshop and residency programmes that unite artists, students, and educators in substantial research exchanges and partnerships, both nationally and internationally. Her projects generate collaborative art-works, exhibitions, screenings and publications, while remaining primarily invested in exploring artistic process and decisive interventions within educational curricula.
Karl is an artist and musician interested in exploring the poetics of space. Using simple material such as wood and box steel Burke creates schematic architectural environments that probe issues such a proportion, transparency and delineation. Burke’s sculptures, spare and elegant, often incorporate a single module that is presented in different aspects. There is an experimental, even, playful attitude in the work. His pieces partner the space in which they are shown to unlock a choreography of possibilities about interior space, both actual and metaphorical, and how it is constructed and encountered.
Naomi is a Dublin-based visual artist. She has been practicing for over fifteen years and has exhibited on an on-going basis both nationally and internationally. Her work has received numerous awards, residencies and state commissions. She has lectured for many years in the Fine Art Department at TU Dublin and is a director on the Board of The Visual Artists of Ireland. In 2012, she completed a practice-based PhD. Based on an extensive period of research she developed a new strand of practice and now uses performance to produce understated theatrical gallery-based situations to articulate her ideas.