Making Conversation visits Joana Vasconcelos Time Machine again
Facilitated by Naomi Kendrick
This month in Making Conversation, we continued our exploration of ‘Time Machine’ by Joana Vasconcelos.
In describing her exhibition, Vasconcelos talks about ‘conversations’ that happen within her works and between her works and the context in which they are placed. There are often conversations between now and the past within her individual works - many of them have connections to a period in history in someway, but also exist as contemporary works of art. The title of the show ‘Time Machine’ references this. She has placed her work in amongst the collections and created work, specifically for parts of the Gallery, responding to individual artworks or the architecture of the Gallery itself.
I thought looking into the decision making process of an artist acting as curator would be interesting to explore further, as we often end up talking how an exhibition gets put together, almost as much as the work itself. It is also a very apt subject, for a group called Making Conversation!
We spent some time in the Gallery, in which I audio described some of Vasconcelos’ work amongst the Gallery’s collection, also giving descriptions of the works that hung nearby. We then talked about whether these works did indeed feel connected; were they holding a conversation and if so what were they saying? I found that when a link between Vasconcelos’s work and another’s was not so obvious, our discussions became much more interesting.
I asked the group to select an artwork each from part of the Gallery and then to create something in the studio, in response to that work, something that may converse with it in someway.
Out of this very open brief, emerged a multi-layered soundscape in response to a painting featuring sirens luring sailors to their death,
a collaborative dance performance
and a lovely series of sculptures.
We also had a chance to see work that members of the group had been creating at home between the sessions, inspired by the exhibitions we have been looking at. This is something that happens often - the workshops seemingly act as a catalyst for creating both inside and outside of the Gallery walls.