Ancel Daniel, A Wash of history, acrylic paint on paper.
MAFA Chelsea College of Arts, Group 5 students collaborated for yet another pop up art exhibition.
On the 5th December 2017, we displayed art at a laundromat in Barbican, London working with the theme interloping on places and spaces anywhere and everywhere.
On arrival, we proceeded to mount our work and waited with expectancy for our invited supporter. However we were greeted with an unexpected response from a member of the resident apartment next-door, who verbally accosted, ripped pulled and threw art works to the floor.
At first I was taken back by the performance, but later remembered the lecture on “The Undercommons” by Professor Paul Goodman (director of TRAIN) on art and sociality. The artist should engage society by taking art to the people and initiating dialogue around concepts.
The woman was angry that we had somewhat invaded “Her friend, the laundry owner’s space” and by extension her space, nevertheless as someone metaphorically paralleled our response to Dada era, by suggesting our retort to the woman’s performance could have been an act of Dadaism, since we held our ground, kept clam and allowed our work to transform the space.
Group 5 worked with a range of mediums such as painting, poetry, performance, photography and sound media. It was a success more than a failure since we had accomplished what we had set out to do, which was to make work and engaged the public.
A middle aged woman with a tiny trolley and one piece of fabric to wash in a machine, about 19:00 hrs in the night was on a mission and so were we. I was satisfied that the confrontation was not instigated by my group, however should we have left the scene? I do not know. Should we take analyses on our approach and psychoanalyze our next move? Maybe, but spontaneity is what the live projects embodies.