Thursday, 21 May 2009

Work in Progress

This series is a comment on the way art is made in certain countries perceived today as emerging powerhouses on the art scene. The institution of the art-school is seminal. I photograph empty classrooms within these institutions, spaces marked with the richness of the activity of art students, yet devoid of human presence, spaces that address the question of whether a collective consciousness exists amongst these artists. The economy in these countries creates certain conditions which force the process of making art to be a collective experience. China, the fastest growing force today in art and economics, has several reputable art schools including the Academy of Fine Arts in Guangzhou where each year over three thousand students produce art work in an attempt to become part of the Chinese art scene. These carefully arranged compositions were shot in Guangzhou. They explore the rich nuances of the art school system and encapsulate the regimentation of institutional architecture while remaining distinctly human spaces. The activities enacted in these spaces are premised on the balancing of individual versus collective experience, they question the traditional perception of the artist as an individual creator and focus on the collective aspect of the process of making art.