Wednesday, 3 August 2011

'FRIENDSHIP OF THE PEOPLES' - Simon Oldfield Gallery - London - 2011

'FRIENDSHIP OF THE PEOPLES' - Simon Oldfield Gallery - London - 2011
Curated by Tim Ellis and Simon Oldfield


Friendship of the Peoples

Friendship of the Peoples unites a group of 40 artists through a framework that is structured around the concept of “community” – a word derived from the Latin communitas; a broad term for fellowship or organized society. 

The show explores the very human and primeval desire to belong to something greater than one’s self.   Traditionally a "community" has been defined as a group of interacting people organized around shared common values and interests.  A longing to belong manifests itself on a local level within physical communities, which grow and develop to become more established.  Communities are amorphous; sometimes getting stronger, sometimes becoming lost – but what remains constant is the individual’s desire to assert their identity.
The concept of building a community is at the core of the show and is reflected in the process of selecting each artist as well as what each artist will be asked to submit.   The curatorial approach creates a foundation group of 20 artists to form the basis of the community, who then each propose one other artist to participate in the exhibition; expanding the community.  
Crucially, there will be no overt or deliberate shared intent or theme, other than the objective to create a community.  The core unifying factor is that all artists will be required to submit work that conforms to the idea of a poster which follows these specific requirements:
·         Material: paper
·         Size: A1
The poster was chosen because of its role as an effective tool of communication and because of its undiscriminating nature of its content. The origins of the poster date back to the late 19th century when the printing industry perfected colour lithograph.  This advancement allowed information to be uniformly mass-produced.  As a consequence, standards and particular restrictions were imposed, such as shape and size, creating a standardized format for communication.
Friendship of the Peoples proposes a greater shared function beyond that of the individual.  The nature of the chain coupled with the ethos behind the poster allows for a transparent manufactured community.  Consequently, the collective works will function as a group that sits somewhere between a communicative role and the symbolic; allowing an engagement with notions of the individual existing within a community.

Tim Ellis, To Live Beyond Ones Usefulness, 2011

To Live Beyond Ones Usefulness
Acrylic and Varnish on A1 paper


ISBN 978-0-9568329-2-4