Art galleries have a very limited space and there for they want to use the wall space as much as they can and maybe if they are showcasing a sculpture have a pedestal in the middle of the gallery. It feels like the galleries are open to try new ideas but do not have the cuts to take that leap.
I would like to introduce a new definition to the art scene; Participating Audience, I’m not talking about artist talks, guided tours, performance or events this is a new level, Where the audience is participating actively by bringing something specific to the gallery, creating something or even taking something from the gallery.
We have seen this in the world of theatre for quite sometime now. Sleep No More in New York, Punchdrunk in the UK and this have of course spread to the rest of Europe, the latest now Shop.Eat.Die in Stockholm is about an artists ten last days alive.
Now it is time to bring this into the art scene. Lee Mingwei is taking that step, inviting people to bring their torn clothing to have them repaired in the gallery. Mingwei has a long experience of PA (Participating Audience) with different kinds of encounters.
Ellen Lesperance is highlighting women empowerment, based on the Greenham Common Peace Camp, 1982, women with symbolic sweaters were protesting against nuclear weapons and received a massive media support. If you are going to participate in protest or are planing to do something courages, you now have the chance to borrow some of these sweaters to gain strength and courages in your own actions.
Ellen Lesperance is showing now at Derek Eller Gallery, NYC, Sept. 6 – Oct. 7 and Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sept. 5 – Nov. 11
Bonniers Art Gallery, Where both Lesperance and Mingwei are showing right now is also taking that step into PA, in their own way. In the gallery you have the opportunity to create a polaroid picture to capture your own state of mind from each artists work and place it in the exhibition catalogue. As a image creator I love this idea, to capture not just a physical memory from an exhibition but to capture a moment of your psychic present.
Text: Magnus Sward