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The Factory Project: Gallery No.32 - FAD Magazine

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The Factory Project: Gallery No.32

Meg Stuart Kieran Idle Directors Developers of Gallery No.32

Opening this October in a 67,000 sqft industrial space The Factory Project promises to be one of the highlights of Frieze week. Over the coming weeks, FAD is talking to all ten curatorial teams taking part in the museum scale exhibition. Below we have Gallery No.32

Can you tell us about your curatorial practice?

No.32: Gallery No.32 was built during the first national lockdown, we found unconventional times were calling out for unconventional curation. The closure of galleries and the government’s “additive subtraction” of the arts meant there was no art to see, less art to make and less creativity to feed minds. Our goal was to provide a safe and FREE space for artists to exhibit their work. Through this, we are forming a strong network of DIY artists like ourselves, who are creating their own opportunities and aiding each other according to their needs and abilities. Our curatorial practice aims to spread the message of creative exchange. 

Can you tell us a bit about the exhibition you will be presenting at The Factory Project?

Mail art was all the rage in the pandemic, eventually becoming email art. We’ve taken this idea and gone large scale, sculptural and very in real life. For our exhibition,  Between Frames, each of our artists have been given a, or multiple, doors to alter as they please. These works will stand solo at The Factory Project, uncanny and monolithic, offering their own routes and points of arrival. 

Through Between Frames, we are exploring that time spent in between. The liminal spaces and passing places, where everyone exists in movement, not interacting. People in a space as individuals, although together in the same situation. We want to draw attention to how we co-exist, passing others every second, looking to cross a liminal veil into the next thing, passing Between Frames. 

Let By Birdhouse Estates Jesse Tadini Rybolt 2021. As part of Solo Series 1-at Gallery No.32

Which artists have you invited to take part in your section of The Factory Project and why have you chosen them?

The artists we have invited have all connected with Gallery No.32 uniquely. Our artists have answered our open calls, responded to our questions, worked with us, been suggested to us, or bumped into us at a private view. They are people we work with on a mutual ground, sharing knowledge, process, experience, space and tools. Our artist group is a network of creative exchange. We feel the uniqueness of these subtle interactions will manifest as something much greater when amalgamated.

Between Frames artists: Edie Baker, Patrick Colhoun, Lucy Faherty  Charlie Goodall, Chloe Harris, Marian Lee,  LUAP, Ministry of Arts, Stephen Nulty, Taryn O’Reilly, Sara Osman,  Carrie Reichardt,  Mary-AnnStuart, Jesse Tadini Rybolt,  Ben Wakeling.

Tension Lucy Faherty 2020.As part of Solo Series 2020 at Gallery No.32

How do you feel about the hijack of the word curator by editors, stylists, DJs, z list celebs, a list celebs, tv personalities & influencers?

Kieran: Marshall Mathers once said ‘I am whatever you say I am’ and a curator is whatever I am today. I wouldn’t be shocked to find those calling out for Z List celebs to stop using the word curator often behave like Z List celebs themselves. 

Meg: I like sharing. I’m not keen on ostentatious exclusivity. Maybe this can help destigmatize the word and disconnect it from the outdated zeitgeist of the old artworld.

The Factory Project takes place in a very large IRL exhibition space. How do you envision your exhibition to be presented?

We’re hoping our exhibition, Between Frames, will be reminiscent of our Winter Sculpture Park (2021, Gallery No.32); a thing that disrupts. Our primary focus is displaying art in unexpected locations. Following this, at The Factory we will be showing outside in the yard. The yard is a transitional area, a liminal space that connects the other sites. As people pass through, they will sense this feeling of crossing paths, of momentary encounter. They will experience the moment Between Frames. 

Following the 2 week show at The Factory, we will be moving Between Frames to Gallery No.32’s second exhibition site. We want to extend the show and recontextualise the works within a natural exposed expanse. Definitely, worth the second trip, it’s going to be brilliant; dramatic, moody and surreal.

During COVID/ lockdown what have you been reading, watching, listening to?

Kieran: I read further into The Situationist International, Vaneigem, Debord, the odd page of Artificial Hells at Meg’s house whilst waiting for the kettle to boil.

Coffee Table books like Nick Cave’s ‘Stranger Than Kindness’ and Kaws at YSP got me as close to visiting an art exhibition as possible.

‘I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson’ on Netflix

Lockdown gifted me the time to listen to physical formats. The New Abnormal by The Strokes came out during the first stage of the pandemic and was the last album I could pick up, I’ve had that spinning for the best part of a year and a half.

Meg: Reading: a lot of new feminist theory, learning about chauvofeminism and delving deeper into feminist fiction. On top of that, my time’s been filled with a lot of planning reports, land rights documents and studies on spatial economy and the commons. 

Watching: the conspiracies unfold. 

Listening to: Blind Boy’s hot takes on pineapples and stellar mental health advice.


Have there been any positives for you from lockdown?

Kieran: I’ve been able to spend more time with the people I love. The pandemic has helped me to reevaluate who I am and how I can contribute to a better future. I think as a nation we are all waking up to the reality of capitalism, making profits for the rich, whilst keeping us from work that benefits us and our communities. 

I met Meg a few weeks before covid arrived in the UK, she is an inspiring person to be around and without her my life would be a lot less colourful.

Kieran

Meg: Only positives. *See Kieran’s answer.

On top of this, the pandemic kickstarted Gallery No.32. We’ve been building and presenting physical exhibitions ever since this all began. As an outdoor space, there is nothing stopping us. 

2022 what do you have planned? & do you feel confident about the future?

Confidence in the future now relies on direct action. We hope to learn from and collaborate with those who follow this direction in their practise. 2022 will see a whole host of shows and opportunities at Gallery No.32. You will see the return of our Winter Sculpture Park with some majorly exciting upgrades and additions. There’ll be a lot of collabs between us and other creatives as we build this network and continue to breed the culture of creative exchange.

WYRM Catriona Robertson 2020. As part of Winter Sculpture Park 2020 at Gallery No.32.

The Factory Project is one of the largest curated events during London’s Frieze week and will be held at Thameside Industrial Estate, from 9 – 22 October 2021. Free Tickets

The Factory Project is an independent museum-scale exhibition that has been scheduled to take place during London’s Frieze week. It has been initiated to support emerging to mid-career artists and curators and is presented as a multi-disciplinary survey project. This exhibition plays host to 10 UK based independent curators and curatorial platforms; each producing their own exhibitions within the larger factory site and will be showcasing upwards of 80 artists.

The Factory Project takes place at the monumental Thameside Industrial Estate, a 6,284m2 warehouse and yard complex in North Woolwich, Newham – a short walk from London’s City Airport and nestled between the Tate & Lyle’s Sugar Refinery and the Thames Barrier – on Factory Road. It is produced by Thorp Stavri and is supported by Projekt and FAD Magazine.

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