17 Chelsea MA students (12 MA Fine Art, 5 MA Curating & Collections) enter into a week-long cooperative exhibition in which the curators, who see the show for the first time mid-week, will reconsider curation and transform the space. The project is an experiment which aims to “…challenge the ‘occupancy’ inside the regimented frameworks” such as may be found in the academic or gallery setting. From 7-10 April 2015 at Chelsea College of Arts.

A new look at “traditional and institutional framing of artistic practice”

In “Housed“, a project curated by Chelsea MA Fine Art students Alex Roberts and Regan O’Callaghan, 12 artists with 5 curators collaborate over a week, planning to discover what lies between artist and curator in the academic display space, which in this case, is the Cookhouse at Chelsea College of Arts. Roberts explains more about this experimental endeavour:

Housed: seeks to reveal what remains dormant and under-exposed within us in response to the traditional and institutional framing of the socio-political artistic practice.

The basis of the project, Roberts continues, “proposes a chain of perspectives that challenge the ‘occupancy’ inside the regimented frameworks that artists continually try to support, intervene and critically, address.”

In order to test these “occupancies” to the limits, Roberts and O’Callaghan along with five students from MA Curation & Collections course, planned the project in two parts:

In the first half of the week, the dozen artists will work as a group to curate and install “Housed“, without input from the curators. In fact, the curation team have elected to view the show for the first time in the second half of the project, in which they will re-curate and re-hang the display as an exercise in “how to best overcome obstacles which arise within an institutional context and those created by practical parameters”. In the process of rebuilding the exhibition, the curating group hope to discover

a cohesive aesthetic language despite the radical challenge of the absence of knowledge regarding artistic, structural content.

A closer look at the artists and curators

Each of the 12 artists in this project are in the final year of the part-time MA Fine Art course at Chelsea College of Arts. Encompassing a variety of art practices, the proposed works in the show may include new media such as sound, performance, or video along with drawing, painting, or installation. For some, the artwork may even be ventures somewhat away from their usual way of working, in a personal challenge to push the boundaries of their own practice, while at the same time, adhering to the central motifs of “Housed“.

Participating artists from MA Fine Art: Paul Abbott, Sarah Faulkner, Kelise Franclemont, Joseph Lichy, Regan O’Callaghan, Shadi Mahsa, Alex Roberts, Jonathan Slaughter, Laura Solomons, Louise Wheeler, Michael Williams, and Saeideh Yazea

Five curators from Chelsea’s MA Curation & Collections course join “Housed” mid-way through the project, each with a unique curation focus; some are concerned with ephemeral practices such as performance, while others direct their attention to the more tangible, e.g., non-contemporary art and text-based conceptual work. The group encompasses quite diverse backgrounds, too, as there are members who have studied or worked in Egypt, Russia, Germany, Italy, and China, bringing a global perspective to the project along with their varied research interests.

Participants from MA Curation & Collections: Sara Elmasri, Oxana Smirnova, Fabian Strobel, Roberta Vacca, and Yang Yang

More links and information about Housed:Cookhouse

Exhibition details:  “Housed” is held from 7-10 April 2015 at Cookhouse, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU. Free admission, step-free access.

“Housed” opening hours:

Tuesday 7 April – Friday 10 April 2015

Private view: Tuesday 7th April, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

7 April 2015: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
8 April 2015: 12:00 am – 6:00 pm
9 April 2015: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
10 April 2015: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Closing breakfast: Friday 10th April, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm