It presents a diverse series of approaches that transform the role of artists in society.
This exhibition forms part of a significant shift from a more traditional understanding of art and its usual environment, towards an understanding of art in the cut and thrust of ordinary life. As this takes place, it is beginning to influence a genuine change in art practice.
In that very spirit, the exhibition will underline the validity of these approaches as artistic projects in themselves, and not solely as social development strategies. Participating artists will address a diverse range of issues, including, but not limited to, the socio-cultural implications of food and agriculture; second wave feminism; material studies; written language and radical gardening, using storytelling, sound, photography, performance, graphic reportage and other creative interventions. The exhibition seeks not to document outcomes, but rather, illustrate practices. The main focus of Forms of Action is the implementation of art and creativity as a way to address issues in society. Art becomes the ‘how’ to transform reality rather than the ‘what’ to be delivered to specific audiences.
CCA is currently expanding its institutional vision to repurpose itself according to the emerging urgencies related to engagement. Our first priority is to merge different visions coming from around the world, and create temporary, but significant, platforms where a fruitful cultural exchange can be achieved.
Forms of Action will retain many of the usual parameters of a traditional exhibition, in order to give focus to artistic approaches that reflect the changing dynamics between art and society. It seeks to present the connection between art and society as a valuable source for all involved: artists, curators, and public audiences, and for the future development of art practice in general.
Forms of Action’s main interest is in civic commitment rather than in the dispensation of concrete solutions. Our goal is to interrogate our current condition by asking how art can be used as a socially motivated and motivating tool for change.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of events across the city. These events will focus on the sociological and political theories that can be related to the development of socially engaged art practices.
Solidarity Against Neoliberal Extremism Collective present Neoliberalism v Democracy – Waking Up to Reality at The Renfield Centre in Feburary, a two day event bringing together activists, academics and artists to work for a progressive post-capitalist future. Also in February, artist Doris Denekamp hosts a workshop on survival in a city. When it’s raining you can take shelter at McDonalds invites inventive and streetwise Glaswegians to think about survival in contemporary cities and introduces Denekamp’s Handbook for the City Wilderness, a collection of tips and tricks for living in the fringes of big cities. At the end of the month, Pascal Gielen will discuss the relationship between art, politics and civil space in the creative city, and how activists and creative workers respond to policy via alternative ways of self-organisation.
In March, two artists involved in the exhibition present events in Govanhill Baths and Glasgow Women’s Library. Katia Kameli’s Stream of Stories takes to the stage in Govanhill Baths on 11 March, while Kim Dhillon and Glasgow Women’s Library co-host a series of reading groups of 1970s feminist children’s books and contemporary radical children’s literature.
Also in March, Fernando Garcia-Dory and Yvonne Billimore present a discussion on Inland in the Cabrach, a two year project with Fernando Garcia-Dory, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Frontiers in Retreat, and Cabrach inhabitants and farmers, which has connected with rural development agents working in the area to look at the Land Reform Act of Scotland, and its legal and political implications, in relation to possible applications within the rural community.
A publication accompanying the exhibition will launch on 15 February. The Forms of Action publication presents new perspectives on the current development of socially engaged art practices. It aims to re-assess the current terminology used when talking about engagement in and beyond the walls of art institutions. The publication presents a range of views on socially engaged artistic practice, from freelance curators working on ground-breaking projects, to para-institutional curators working in their own context and embedded within the community, as well as that of institutional curators trying to intervene socially in the structure of their institution.