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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Re: Making Exhibition at the Hartley Library

Published: 22 February 2016
Image from Re: Making
Image from the Re: Making exhibition

The Re: Making exhibition documents three PhD seminars that each ran between 2-3 days at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. The exhibition runs in the Hartley Library, L4 Gallery, from 13 February to 8 March 2016.

The aim was to work together, and intensively, to question what it is we do and think when making, writing and researching. Re: Making considers what it means to make and re-make ideas, objects and processes.

Key prompts were provided to explore different types and methods of making:

  • Reading Room was the re-creation of an exhibition of artists’ books that had originally shown in India. The artworks were brought into dialogue with the School’s own collection so reframing and re-tracing thoughts, beliefs and emotions within the boundaries of a book and the cultures in which they circulate.
  • Writing as Making was a study retreat for dedicated time to write, to share in the act of writing, and to reflect critically on various strategies. One outcome was a re-making of Walter Benajmin’s ‘The Writer’s Technique in Thirteen Theses’, which quickly reveals writing as practice, as a working and re-working of texts in pursuit of new thoughts, images and confluences.
  • Plastic Surgery took two icons of ‘plastic pop’, Michael Jackson and Kylie Minogue, as ‘models’ to explore simultaneously both physical 3D rendering processes and conceptual understandings of plasticity as evoked by the fine arts and cultural critique.

Taken together, Re: Making asserts we might need to make before we think as much as we think before we make.

‘…what of the artists, the makers, how do they make decisions? …now an artist is as likely to atomise or extrude or draw, print, wear or perform with objects as part of an adaptable practice. And since art has been transformed into aesthetic communication it is no longer traditions but messages that count…’

- Ian Dawson, Making Contemporary Sculpture, 2012, p.9

 ‘I don't think it makes sense to untangle the picture (as material) from the image (as immaterial). […] Somehow we get snagged by a desire, an object petit ‘an’, to theorise the image as a singularity, rather than reimagining and enacting theory around its multiplicity.’

- Sunil Manghani, 'Images: An Imaginary Problem', 2011, p.228.

The exhibition runs in the Hartley Library, L4 Gallery, from 13 February to 8 March 2016, and a private view will be held on 25 February, 17:00 – 19:00

This will be a joint private view with the Special Collections Gallery exhibition, The Book, The Object – an exhibition of wonderful and rare examples of books, from the 15th to the 21st century. Emphasis is on the book as a material object, which provides a fascinating dialogue with the objects on display for Re: Making. 


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