“So, if not pious, not earnest, not pompous, and not authoritative – what then could seriousness be and where might it be practised? And is seriousness in the art world a doomed project? Could it be revived strategically as a tool by which to insist on some things without involving the reams of critical analysis that expose, unveil, blame, and reveal power relations, end ensure that we know in a socially responsible way what’s what? Most importantly, how can seriousness function as a rupture and as the vehicle for intellectual intensity – as a shared entity rather than as an isolating pensiveness”
Irit Rogoff in Visual Culture as Seriousness 2013
Between October 2013 and May 2014 artist Emma Drye worked as artist in residence at the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre: home to 120 curatorial, conservation, management, technical, access and outreach, front of house, administrative and collections management staff.
“I began with an interest in the relationship between my studio practice which had been largely painting, and the odd interventions in the world outside that I was increasingly drawn to make. The relative value of the two outputs has switched. I now almost exclusively operate in a situated practice; designing creatively generative transactions in non art settings.
This residency used a negotiated methodology to create shared spaces for thinking – exploring the potential and limitations of significance. I have developed what I have termed a negotiated practice. As artist in residence at the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre I have responded to encounters with staff, particularly through conversation. Mapping roles and responsibilities has become a focus – who does what in a situated or participatory practice?
Like the multiple tunings of a pre digital radio, I have opened up the potential registers of process to create a more encompassing and thereby more sustainable practice. I have developed a certain shameless élan and have a rather liberating sense of having breached the defences of something.”
The residency used conversations with staff to develop art interventions which coalesced into a series of alternative manifestos for the workplace – highlighting the wonderful and multi directional contributions made by staff to the sense of place, the intellectual life and wider human experience of the organisation.