The artist must exercise
regularly to minimize atrophy of their critical competence. They must train
their AWARENESS MUSCLE to avoid this atrophication. Saha Jones and Nicole
Dennis present the documentation of the activation of critical formats since
beginning a mentorship with French- Danish format artist Thierry Geoffroy in
Thierry's Emergency Rooms
movement has launched formats all over the world which respond to emergencies
of the day. Nicole and Saha are the first to establish an independent version
of his movement, where they work in partnership with him to bring these ideas
to an Australian audience.
The aim of this exhibition
was not to create art, so much as to encourage experimentation and progressive
attitudes towards artistic practice. Keeping in mind that by no means do we
think 'artistic practice' is limited to or reserved for 'practicing artists'.
Being creative is something we feel as definably human.
We are asking, what kind
of roles might artists play in a new vision for the arts? Where artists
communicate the stories of our time, and become leaders at the very front of
social change. Are we thinking laterally around our problems, and applying our
own personal emergencies and stories into a world context. Where is the common
ground between us? Where is the human element in our stories? Where is the
trust in our practice and between one another? Can we enable ourselves to
create laboratories in which to discover new ways of both learning and applying
Where is the commitment to
follow new pathways? Where is our struggle to claim our freedom? Where is our
critical competence? Where are our basic survival instincts? When will we
realise that we cannot survive if we refuse to face concepts of change?
So, with this attitude we
put forward this exercise asking people to keep a journal for a week from the
30 May - 5 June 2011. We wanted the journals to
be as close as possible to 'now', so that our memories as audiences could be as
fresh as possible. They were instructed to collect two media articles each day
and were invited to respond by identifying emergencies. Participants responded
and reacted within a situation where they were confined by rules. It was up to
those individuals to break them, to change them or to follow them.
journal is not considered an individual work, but together they represent a
collection of thoughts that provide insight into many things. The most
interesting of which is our conditioning, experiences, culture and identity.
Our Emergency Artists were invited from all walks of life, and backgrounds and
many of them are not artists by vocation. We wanted to see what similarities
would emerge, and to put the focus back on how important it is to listen to one
This idea is part of a whole cluster of AWARENESS MUSCLE training
exercises, that includes CRITICAL RUN and SOAP BOX SUNDAY. The training aims to
break down normal ways of viewing art. Putting back under the microscope our
self as guinea pigs. If we want to remain sitting around the dinner tables of
the chattering class, we will fail in all ways conceivable. Instead THE ACADEMY
OF EMERGENCY ART urges its members, and its audience, to look closer to home in
the hope that we can understand that we are all in this together.
A STATE OF EMERGENCY
Murray Ackman, Rebecca
Ayre-Smith, Alicia Boyd, Andrew Burford, Nicole Dennis, Coris Evans,
Luke Fullagar, Peter Fyfe, Michelle Genders, Jepke Goudsmit, Gilbert
Grace, Kate Henniker, Graham Jones, Jola Jones, Saha Jones, Jarred
Keane, Chris Alexander Kiprovski, Jessica Kite, Michael Petchkovsky,
Suzanne Nehme, Maya Newell, Caitlin Elizabeth Still, Louise Steer,
Angela Stretch, Sophie Trevitt, Victoria Waghorn, Alana Wesley.
Created by Saha Jones and Nicole Dennis
Under the mentorship of Thierry Geoffroy /
Special thanks to:
Geoffroy, Jola Jones, Michelle Dennis and Tyler Freeman
Smith, Kinetic Energy Theatre Company, At The Vanishing Point, First
Draft Gallery and Depot, Gaffa Gallery, Big Village, Thundamentals,
would like to thank all of our participants: