ONE NEED NOT BE A CHAMBER is an on-site research, conducted by a film-maker Lara Smithson, a place-maker Simona Sharafudinov, an image-maker Rhona Eve Clews, and an object-maker Maria Positano – together with a curator Sasha Burkhanova-Khabadze.
The experiment started with a belief, shared by the art practitioners: buildings inscribe themselves with their occupants; so do the exhibition spaces. They socialise and structure the relations with their exhibitors, providing room for expression and realisation of a complex interactive relationship. An art gallery built from the scratch, for the purpose of showing art, has a complex ecology of past and present, interior and exterior; it congures a certain kind of relations between the concrete structure and those who inhabit it. But a “haunted” gallery is a scenario of confrontation between the two narratives — of the building, and of its new inhabitants: artists, art- works, audiences, curators. In this sense “haunting” implies a temporal disruption of the narratives that alters the perception, attitude and physical appearance of the place. In order to trace and locate the source of this disturbance, the haunted gallery must be explored — although the exploration suggests an entry into other than purely spatial dimension.
In ONE NEED NOT BE A CHAMBER, the process of artistic exploration will operate on the technologies of co-presence, seizure, edit, mimicking, repurposing, replacement and installation of the (often discontinuous) objects and relations in the space. The exhibition will take shape of an “exorcism” of a kind: on the one hand, it will be employed by the artists as a means of communicating with the spirit of the building, introducing themselves and the new agenda to it; on the other hand, it will help the artists to identify the ways in which the old physiological and symbolic meanings (“the ghosts”) were assigned to this location, so the new ones — the ones that represent the art space we are aspiring to set up here — can be added. For the duration of the exhibition, the mechanics of both processes will be revealed to the public.