Concertina’s events will happen in, on and around a collection of structures by APPARATA (Astrid Smitham and Nicholas Lobo Brennan) that explore the social potential of art spaces and transform the gallery into an environment for openness and discussion.
Concertina is comprised of two free-standing and one wall-erected companionways. The staircases, built of plywood, stand suggestively in the space, creating various focal points alluding to an event waiting to happen. Whether it be a series of talks and workshops, a board meeting, or a friendly lunch between friends, the stairs are there to allow for social interactions to occur.
As a continuation of Wentworth’s 2013 work on the Black Maria with Gruppe (of which Lobo Brennan was a founding member), the constructed interferences highlight the mundanity of everyday architecture – or that which we take for granted – and asks the viewer to look at our everyday interactions with fresh eyes, to reexamine the world around us. The work reflects Smitham and Lobo Brennan’s ongoing work into what role structure has in cultivating spontaneous and informal occupation.
With Concertina, Wentworth lays the foundations on which a heavily prescribed gallery space can become a social sphere, but also highlights the point at which a city becomes a communal environment – a place for ideas and creation, both physically and figuratively, within and beyond the gallery. The creation of the staircases allows Wentworth to question the potential of such “non-places” in becoming areas of social exchange – the town square, the agora, the church, the pub, the community centre, the school, the rehearsal space, the studio, and the gallery merge together, enabling new conversations between disparate groups.