Expect the unexpected: Wright & Vandame's #AnotherGallery workshop

    Mixing millennial tech savvy with a dash of mischief, artist duo Wright & Vandame tell us what to expect from their upcoming #AnotherGallery selfie workshop, on Thursday 2 March 2017.

    How did you become involved in #AnotherGallery?

    Josh Wright: I have been friends with Emily, one of the curators, for many years and she's one of my closest friends. She has always been very supportive of our work and we were thrilled when Emily, Irini, Helene and Anastasia invited us.

    Guillaume Vandame: I am so happy that Emily approached us to be involved with the exhibition and public programme. She told us about it at our closing party at Gazelli Art House and now a few months later it's so exciting to see it come together. It's a curious extension and development within our practice.

    What can participants expect from the workshop?

    GV: The workshop will be intimate and a little unconventional. I hope people can feel relaxed and take the time to enjoy themselves and see the area in Bethnal Green a little differently.

    JW: They can expect the unexpected!

    How will you engage them in the themes of the exhibition?

    GV: The exhibition is really about ourselves, how we frame our identities within society and translate our bodies through the lens. We will work directly with the language of social media and interpret the themes in a way that is fun and challenging.

    JW: I think one of the things that interests us about #Anothergallery is how art is absorbed. People absorb thousands of images a day and art is increasingly both accepting and resisting that. I think one thing that this surge in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has created is a demand for the feeling of presence. Subsequently we've seen more museums and galleries offering live art and dance in their programme to accommodate that. It's an exciting time to make performance.

    Is social media something you have explored before in your own work?

    GV: With our first collaboration at fig-2 in 2015, we were given the opportunity to do a social media takeover with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This gave us an opportunity to be more direct with our audiences, especially people who couldn't physically be there.

    JW: People love to photograph and record our work which is something we happily embrace but we have never worked with social media as a subject or medium. Our window commission with Gazelli Art House for instance transformed the gallery into an observation room and addressed ideas of self, beauty and perception all issues very apparent on social media.

    GV: As well, with our project at Gazelli Art House, we used hashtags to help circulate the work within the public realm. Today, it's important as artists to be aware that audiences interact with your work on multiple levels and there are ways to use social media to help facilitate this experience.

    What are your own observations of the ‘art selfie’ phenomenon?

    JW: I think people will always want to take and share pictures. And the selfie is a great way of locating yourself in the narrative. I think for me the important issue is that first and foremost people spend the time to look, experience and enjoy the work.

    GV: I think it's really amazing how social media has created this new global platform for the public to create another gallery, one that is autonomous and constantly changing. I think it's cool how a work of art can be extended beyond the gallery or studio and even become part of a person's identity.

    At the same time, I am aware that issues of copyright and conservation are part of that phenomenon. Just the other day, I saw an article describing how a visitor broke a glass pumpkin sculpture by Yayoi Kusama while trying to take a selfie!

    Your art is known for it playfulness and humour. Do you have any surprises in store?

    JW: It wouldn't be a surprise if we told you!

    GV: We love to make our art accessible to people in unexpected ways. Let's just say, you might think twice the next time you take a selfie.

    Lastly, what else are you working on at the moment?

    JW: We have a lot of exciting projects in the pipeline. Our major project for the year will be a residency with Photofusion in Brixton that will culminate in an exhibition in 2018.

    GV: As well, we are about to take part in the Associate Artists programme at MK Gallery, which is really exciting with their major redevelopment coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Milton Keynes.

    Take part in Wright & Vandame's selfie workshop, featuring a walking tour of east London galleries, starting at #AnotherGallery at DACS, 6pm, Thursday 2 March.

    Book now

    Visit #AnotherGallery

    Find out more about Wright and Vandame

    Image: No.23, from the series '10th August 2016', 2016. Courtesy of Wright & Vandame.

    Posted on 28/02/2017 by Jessica Bancroft