Drawing on The Surrealists' game 'Exquisite Cadaver' as a metaphor for collaboration and interpretation, Short Straw experiments with interweaving the artists' particular ways of creating and diverse use of form.
The parameters of this involve creating a moving image work from five individual works, each made by one of the artists. Through the random act of ‘pulling sticks,’ we decided on a chronological order to respond and react. The artist who pulled the shortest straw starts the process by creating a moving image piece based on an idea of their choice. The work is presented to the second artist who then responds with a work informed by their interpretation of the previous work. There is no discussion by the artists outside the ritual of passing the work from one to the next. When the process is complete, each of the works is edited together to create a whole.
In the execution of the work, we invite opportunities to explore depths of subjectivity, differences in perception, and thereby illustrating difficulties inherent in trying to communicate and be understood. This process highlights the unique subjectivities of artists as well as the gaps in meaning due to individual perspec-tives. Drawing on Eisenstein’s view that ‘montage is an idea that arises from the collision of independent shots’ wherein ‘each sequential element is perceived not next to the other, but on top of the other’ the final project will reflect the idea that every piece is embedded in the whole. Sharing the process and the outcome to a broader audience is the key, and the fundamental notion of ‘send’ and ‘response’ lies at the heart of the process.
Ballpark is a London-based collective of artists working with moving image. It is run by Aimée Neat, Susanne Dietz, and Sun Park. Together they create the regular group exhibition series Reality Sandwiches along with collaborative projects.