Guest Work Agency initiates and collaborates on exhibitions, talks and texts at the intersection of art, curating, technology and the law. A selection of our past and ongoing projects are viewable below.
SERPENTINE GALLERIES RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM
2019 - ONGOING
The Serpentine’s Research and Development Platform is a space where the institution’s ‘back-end’ (operations, protocols, in-built values) and ‘front-end’ (what it produces) are brought into experimental realignments. In today’s environment of hyper-production and accelerated change, arts organisations are in need of a reflexive space that allows for thoughtful and conscious advancement.
The R&D Labs provide infrastructural support for collaborative research, targeting specific questions and devising operational propositions. Current labs include Legal Lab, led by Alana Kushnir, Director of Guest Work Agency, DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) Lab, led by Ruth Catlow, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Furtherfield and DECAL DeCentralised Arts Lab; Creative AI Interfaces Lab, led by Mercedes Bunz, Senior Lecturer in Digital Societies at King's College.
The first part of 2020 will see the launch of the first annual report on future art ecologies. The report surveys emergent forms of cultural production, and acts as a barometer for emerging tendencies and opportunities within the wider sector.
Although emerging from the Serpentine, the R&D Platform is a constantly growing community of individuals and organisations without whom it would not be a reality.
RELATIVE PERMANENCE - SPRING
AÉSOP, SYDNEY PITT ST
11 SEPTEMBER - 30 NOVEMBER 2019
Relative Permanence is a series of digital art exhibitions curated by Guest Work Agency for Aésop’s largest store to date, which is located in Sydney’s Pitt St and designed by Snohetta. The store features a dedicated space for creative projects, including an internal amphitheatre and screen. The series of digital art exhibitions will evolve seasonally, beginning in Spring 2019 and ending in Winter 2020. Each exhibition will draw on a virtue associated with a key developmental stage of life—from hope in Spring to purpose in Summer, love in Autumn and wisdom in Winter.
The first exhibition, Spring, celebrates the virtue of hope. It showcases generative video and software works by three internationally acclaimed artists who are exhibiting in Australia for the first time - Harm van den Dorpel, Sarah Meyohas and Jenna Sutela.
Lyon Housemuseum Galleries, Melbourne
15 March - 21 July 2019
The inaugural exhibition in the new Lyon Housemuseum Galleries – ENTER – will open to the public in February 2019. ENTER explores the relationship and connections between art, the spaces of the museum and the experience of the viewer.
The exhibition contests the neutral ‘white cube’ by challenging sixteen contemporary artists – five drawn from the collection and eleven new artists – to create works that explore the way viewers engage with art and how they are encountered in the spaces of the new Galleries. Together, the works will unfold as an interconnected pathway of experiences – conversations, interactions, juxtapositions and provocations – to be discovered by the gallery visitor.
Artists exhibiting include: Brook Andrew, Ry David Bradley, FFIXXED Studios X James Deutsher, Shaun Gladwell, nova Milne, Kate Mitchell, Dan Moynihan, Callum Morton, Baden Pailthorpe, Kenzee Patterson, Patricia Piccinini, Ian Strange, Esther Stewart, Kynan Tan, Min Wong, Constanze Zikos.
Collection+: Christian Thompson
Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation
Sydney 23 October – 12 December 2015
Collection+: Christian Thompson, is the fifth iteration of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) Collection+ series. The series is conceived as a hybrid project with a specific cross-pollinating purpose. Some 800 works in The Gene & Brian Sherman Collection are scrutinised and assessed by invited curators working in partnership with SCAF’s curatorial team. Each curator selects a single artist from the collection and researches collections nationally and internationally in order to identify significant related works by the same artist.
Collection+: Christian Thompson, curated by Alana Kushnir, explores what it truly means to own or possess something, the extinction and rediscovery of indigenous languages and the appropriation of indigenous Australian material culture. Works have been borrowed from major public institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), and from a range of national private collections.
An accompanying catalogue was published, with an introduction by Dr Gene Sherman AM, a catalogue essay by Mitchell Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler, and a conversation between Christian Thompson and Alana Kushnir.
21 August – 13 September 2014
There is little evidence which attests to the existence in ancient and medieval times of an impulse to concentrate certain types of information by different creators in a single physical place. One of the few exceptions to this is indicated by the survival of the Tabularium, a building which was constructed in around 78 BCE to house official legal documents of the ancient Roman State. In the so-called Information Age, archives have again become less physically concentrated, as information is gathered and preserved using data centres which are geographically dispersed. Yet despite the liberal aura which surrounds this mode of distribution, the cultivation of some cultural narratives and the disregard of others continues. Does this mean that the Tabularium still exists, albeit in a virtual form?
Featuring works by Eloise Bonneviot, Ry David Bradley, Heman Chong and Anthony Marcellini, Rachel De Joode, Lawrence Lek, Katja Novitskova, Tom Penney and Jon Rafman in the gallery space and online at slopesprojects.org. An exhibition trailer created by Lawrence Lek was released and is accessible from lawrencelek.com.
The exhibition also featured the first iteration of the Tabularium Archive, an ongoing project by Alana Kushnir which collects and preserves publications by artists, curators and writers that have an online ethos but which are not available in digital form. An updated Google Doc inventory of the Tabularium Archive is accessible from slopesprojects.org.
An exhibition essay written by Alana Kushnir, Returning to the Tabularium: An Exhibition and Archive in Pursuit of Chronological Time, was published online in Mnemoscape Magazine, Issue 1: The Anarchival Impulse, visit mnemoscape.wordpress.com.
Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument
presented in partnership with the Mayor of London
5 December 2012 – 20 January 2013
Since 1999, the ‘empty’ Northwest plinth in Trafalgar Square, London has been home to some of the world’s best contemporary art. This exhibition brought together a wide range of historical material including a display of commissioned maquettes made by some of the most celebrated artists working today.
The Fourth Plinth brings out the art critic in everyone. This exhibition traces the myriad responses to the commissions through media clippings, public comments, and archive material. Visitors were invited to explore the development of the Fourth Plinth programme from its inception to its current status as a world class art commission.
Artists exhibited included: Chris Burden, Allora & Calzadilla, Sokari Douglas Camp, Jeremy Deller, Elmgreen & Dragset, Tracey Emin, Katharina Fritsch, Brian Griffiths, Hew Locke, Stefan Gec, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas, Mariele Neudecker, Marc Quinn, Thomas Schütte, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Bob & Roberta Smith, Mark Wallinger, Rachel Whiteread and Bill Woodrow.
Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument curatorial team included Alana Kushnir, Elsa Coustou, Lucia Garavaglia and Elizabeth Warren. Supported by MFA Curating, Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Artists’ Film Club: Walking Sideways
19 January 2013
In response to the exhibition Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument, this Artists’ Film Club presented a selection of moving image works which delve into the social dimensions of architectural monuments. These monuments and their surrounding environments are more than a physical space; they generate individual and collective memories. The works reference the longevity of some built structures and the impermanence of others, exploring how histories are inextricably bound to geography and the synthesis of time.
The screening featured works by Ludovica Carbotta, Shaun Gladwell, Leopold Kessler, Benjamin Orlow, Deborah Ligorio, David Maljkovic, and Emile Zile.
The Walking Sideways curatorial team included Alana Kushnir, Elsa Coustou, Lucia Garavaglia and Elizabeth Warren. Supported by MFA Curating, Goldsmiths College, University of London.
6 October – 2 December 2012
Paraproduction featured a concentration of London-based artists who exploit the curatorial strategies of exhibition, circulation and distribution. The materials they use are the programmatic, networked and branded processes that typically accompany the production of contemporary art. By operating through these modes of practice, they replace the romantic myth of the artist as a maker of art with the actuality of the artist as a format for art.
Artists exhibited included: Benedict Drew, Ed Fornieles, LuckyPDF, Hannah Perry and Christopher Kulendran Thomas.
An accompanying catalogue was published, edited and introduced by Alana Kushnir with contributions by Jesse Darling, John Hill, Ben Vickers, Matthew Drage and Christopher Kulendran Thomas.