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  • Sarah Jane

BA3b - CURVE: Evaluation

Updated: Feb 28, 2019

This exhibition has been true to its name in that it has been a learning curve from inception to install. We had so many different ideas at the table before this one, and ultimately we had to refine our final chosen until it became the idea installed in PS1 and PS3. We also decided to change the way we curated this exhibition as we felt that not having much room for curatorial input in the last show showed in the way the spaces were curated and felt that having more of an input on who will be involved and where things were to go allowed us t fully realise our potential as curators.

The initial curation process of the show was actually really successful, and I think we should curate using a model more in the future as it allowed the install process to be more streamlined and efficient as we knew where things were going and could just go straight to installing. I do think however that this process only works best if we have a small amount of works to curate, if we did this for degree show I don't think it would work as well as there would be so many different pieces to consider and everyone has their own ideas of how they want their pieces displayed. But overall I think for small exhibitions this process works extremely well.


I also thought that the way we handled roles and the overall organisation of this exhibition was a lot better than the interim show as we were able to have more control over everything. We had a couple of us liaise with the artists, we had some of us sort out the physical marketing, I was in charge of digital marketing, as well as documentation. We were able to communicate effectively with each other how things were going and if we needed to meet to discuss aspects of the show, so all in all it was less stressful and rushed than the last exhibition. Overall I think this made the curation of this exhibition a lot more easier being able to talk directly to the artists and having more creative input into the display of their works I think really helped with making the show look so much more professional and more cohesive. This was one of the faults with the interim show, the spaces weren't cohesive enough and didn't flow as you moved to each space, so we made sure to link these two spaces by mixing the student and staff works together, and only having certain works in certain places for specific reasons, for examples the TVs upstairs due to needing plug sockets.


Overall I think the physical marketing was really successful and I really liked how we managed to get the posters printed on different papers to represent different materials which link to the bauhaus logo. It really helped to establish the link between learning, education and the arts. I think we could have done more with the posters, and we could have potentially looked into the idea of the learning curve fully and really utilised that but I think with the time given we did really well in selling the show through these posters. Furthermore, I think the digital marketing was also really successful and I enjoyed being able to curate the digital space as well as having a hand in curating the physical space. I think there is an art to having successful social media advertising, and choosing the right imagery, colours and fonts are important to create a brand and I think I managed that quite well by keeping to the same fonts and colours throughout. I think there are some areas where I could have been more effective in terms of choice of imagery, and I could have utilised instagram stories a lot more after the show was installed but this is all a learning curve and I hope to use the skills I have learnt here in the next show as well as in possible future careers.

The install process was a lot more streamlined and efficient this time round thanks to our curation model that allowed us to plan ahead where we wanted works to go, as well as having some staff members install their own works. Allowing us to have two days to install was definitely the best decision we could have made as we didn't feel pressured to get everything finished in a short amount of time. Although with the amount of works we had we managed to get almost everything up and looking good in one day, but having that extra day in case something went wrong gave us a safety net. In terms of things going wrong, we did have issues with the vinyl which contained all of the information of the exhibition, but this was our first time installing vinyl text on a wall. We managed to get it up in time before the opening night, and we learned a skill we didn't have before.


We also debated on where to put the booklets. Some of us wanted to have them on a plinth but we felt that it would take away from the vinyl on the wall and suggested hanging the booklets in a similar way to how the second years had in their interim shows. However we felt that this couldn't allow for people to walk around with them and so we compromised by deciding to place them in an acrylic holder, nailed to the wall. Unfortunately the acrylic holders were not big enough for the booklets but we did find an acrylic stand for them, and made sure to have the plinth to the side of the vinyl, to allow it to have space and allow for the viewers to read it in full. Overall I think this was the best idea we could come to, although personally, I felt that it could have been better if we had hung them as it wouldn't be seen as a lazy way to display booklets, but otherwise they did look good where they eventually were.


It was also good to have someone dedicated to taking photographs of the install days as during the last show because we were all busy trying to curate each space, we all forgot to document and take pictures. I was happy to be on documentation duty as I have always had an interest in photography, especially candid photography and documentation photography as I feel the shots look more natural and document a moment in time. The photographs I had taken were really successful and captured the elements of planning, install and the opening night successfully and I hope to take this skill further post graduation.


Furthermore, the opening night was a success, with a great turnout of people. We had a range of people viewing each performance and interacting with each piece/performer. The only concerns I had were that people weren't really appreciating Colleen's performance on the staircase, but it could be argued that she was there for background noise and not to be watched, but personally I would liked people to interact with her more, especially with her motion sensors. Perhaps the social media marketing could have been more persuasive in that matter, and I could have really encouraged people to really get involved with each of the performers and pieces, and will definitely be something I will look into in the next project.


Additionally, one thing we did all agree on was that those who did come, all congregated in one area and weren't really moving around the spaces as much as we would have liked and this was largely due to the fact that we had the food table in PS3. We think that we should have had the table downstairs as we had too many things going on in PS3, and not enough going on downstairs in PS1. This is definitely something we will consider for the next show.


Overall, the show was a success and the in conversation event allowed us to celebrate the show as well as developing our learning through our curation process, and hear others opinions on how the show was curated. We all felt extremely proud of the show, and have taken the critiques seriously. I think there were elements that could have been improved, such as the table placement during opening night, communication between curators, as well as more social media advertising on multiple platforms as I only focused on instagram and not facebook. These are all elements that we can consider and take forward into the curation of the Degree Show, and things can only get better.



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© 2018 Sarah Jane 

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