The Gallery of Inventive formations curated by Simon Fennessy Corcoran. This open call is seeking artists, creatives, collaborators of all kinds to engage with the programme in many different ways including the display of their artwork, co-hosting events, partnering on mini programmes of events, research or on further individual funding applications supported by The CHG+S.
After such long periods of closures, stagnation and drastic changes in how we as artists, curators and producers make work, moving from our studios to our kitchen tables and back again, one thing was highlighted in particular and that was the meaningfulness of our work and the value in finding new ways to express our cultural offerings across pandemics, the internet and time.
The programme is designed to challenge the way in which The Courthouse Gallery & Studios, Ennistymon, exhibits artists’ work, engages with artists and how we deliver cultural experiences for and to audiences. We live in a time now, where how we experience culture takes place in many different formats from digital experiences, on social media and countless different digital spaces, to physical visits to a cultural space. The Gallery of Inventive formations programme asks that we explore how we perceive the role and format of a physical gallery space and asks that artists and visitors alike take this experimental journey with us in finding new ways to deliver professional high-quality cultural experiences to audiences that are more exciting and meaningful for everyone. Full details bellow.
Deadline; Midnight, 3rd March 2022
The Gallery of Inventive Formations Brief:
Contemporary art galleries have a multitude of roles now, both visible and invisible. Incubating and supporting artists of all kinds is of the utmost importance, and in so doing we continue to support and advance the local and national cultural ecology. For the 2023 programme, we ask what a gallery such as The Courthouse Gallery & Studios (CHG+S) can bring to the field which is stimulating, new and exciting and which drives experimentation and risk taking in the advancement of our cultural offering. After a severely tumultuous period, the curator, Simon Fennessy Corcoran, believes now is the time to experiment in the midst of such radical transformative change, to reflect on the impact on our interaction both socially and artistically to the gallery model.
The Gallery of Inventive Formations will be an experiment in constructing an alternatively formatted programme based on artists support, commissions, and a re-evaluation of the conventional exhibition model. The CHG+S will be questioning what role does an exhibition fulfil? What alternatives exist or can exist? What purpose can The CHG+S have beyond the current model which consist of consecutive shows in an immovable pre-determined timeline. This model exists as the pervasive standard of functionality and default formatting within the gallery exhibitions space for most of the 20th Centaury. There exists now a myriad of gallery, museum and arts organisational models, but the exhibition formats within these structures have remained relatively unchanged and stagnant.
The exhibitions that set the foundation for the current gallery model, first appeared in the early modern period, between the 1500s to 1800s. The earliest exhibitions took the form of promotional displays of arts and craft skills in the 1500s. The modern museum, as a secular space for public engagement and instruction through the presentation of objects, is tightly bound to several institutions that arose simultaneously in 18th and 19th-century Europe. The traditional intention of the museum model, as a tool for colonialism and its ties to the spread of Christianity, must be acknowledged in any re-evaluation that we undertake. By the end of the 19th and early 20th Century, the gallery and museum exhibition model we enjoy today had become the standard. In contemporary times these spaces have diversified and expanded to incorporate the advancement of social, cultural and economic changes, but the exhibition offering model has remained much the same. We must consider what new form can re-centre the model on artists, communities, and visitors in order to truly support the potential these spaces hold for societal progress.
The CHG+S asks whether a new radical exhibition model can work to provide more exciting, and dynamic experiences to visitors, while also providing more discursive, supportive and diverse opportunities for artists. The new proposed model will be an experiment in form, which will present specially commissioned artworks, performances, events, workshops, happenings, screenings, and more in an ever-evolving display of work and interventions in 2023. Works will be added, subtracted, reinstalled, moved, given space to breathe and provided with artistic company for a conversation. The display will grow and change over time, in an organic path with an element of pre-determination as works are periodically added to the space, temporarily removed, to then culminate in a major display of work from all commissioned artists. The exact format and design of the programme will form around artists selected through open call and invited cultural practitioners.
The 2023 programme invites artists and cultural practitioners to destabilise, un-think and transform the notion of the exhibition and their relationship to the gallery and curator. They are encouraged to consider it as more than a physical space, but a partner and support structure to develop their practice and expand the arts ecology of County Clare and Ireland. Most importantly we ask that you be innovative, take a new direction in medium, material or subject, to be experimental, and push the boundaries of their own practices. We ask artists to probe how they make, with whom, and why.
Never has the arts had to adapt so radically and shift away from what it was doing than in the past two years, from the sudden cease to exhibitions, to the emergence of the digital exhibition as the primary model, we ask is the conventional bricks-and-mortar gallery becoming less sustainable, exciting and relevant in a contemporary world, particularly a post-pandemic one where digital art prevails in lockdowns and a restricted existence. With this programme, The CHG+S introduces an opportunity to explore a solution - to reinvigorate and preserve our spaces as innovative, exciting multidisciplinary spaces of value and meaningful to our communities and cultural practitioners in the years to come. We shift the physical space into a form recognisable in the digital age and inspired by the digital form of cultural consumption we engage in now, a space where missed exhibitions or artists work will return in a new form and every visit has the potential to be radically different than the last.
*for inclusion in The CHG+S funding process with The Arts Council of Ireland, The Gallery of Inventive Formations seeks submissions to two strands:
New experimental work by artists, performers, poets, musicians, and creative practitioners of every kind in the cultural sector may apply. There will be no solo exhibitions or formal exhibitions.
Strand Two seeks to support an ongoing project, host a performance/screening, workshop or event or support a research project or funding proposal collaboration.
*Work by creatives from under-represented, POC & LGBT+ communities and groups are particularly encouraged to apply.
- Submission’s deadline: 3rd March 2022
- All creatives will be paid. There is no submission fee.
- Artists are expected to create between 2-6 works of various scale or one medium installation / scaled work or artistic intervention in consultation with the curator. The curator and the gallery will support the artist through the development stage into 2023 both financially and through studio visits, advice and virtual conversations. A budget will be supplied for production and experimentation.
- All creatives will have control over how their work will be initially presented in consultation with the curator, include initial suggestions in your proposal.
- The work/documentation/music will remain in a temporary collection repository in the gallery to be uninstalled, reinstalled, moved or removed during the run of the programme, the artists will be informed of any and all changes. This will not affect their initial presentation period. All works must remain in the possession of the gallery until Jan 2024 unless otherwise agreed.
- Each new presentation of work will be marked with a gathering, talk, or event.
- Submissions must push their practices beyond how they exist now and create something new in this radical experimental project.
- Audio-visual creatives should supply links to materials.
- Off-site or site-specific work, socially engaged work, digitally native, large-scale work, performative work, and/or outdoor work can be submitted also.
For this open call, we have created a short and simple expression of interest form which will take no more than 20 mins to complete. It puts the emphasis on the gallery to do the work. We ask only for an initial idea, approach or starting point, and initial budget. No CV, essay or images required. We will visit all social media, websites or links provided and take the time to thoroughly assess all submissions. We will not discount any application made before the deadline for any reason. We accept and will consider applications by anyone, collective, group or organisation etc.
The Courthouse will accept expressions of interest in several ways:
- Printed and posted to The Courthouse Gallery & Studios, Parliament Street, Ennistymon, Co Clare, V95 D791
- Voice and Audio recording through email or post above also