ADVENTURE, residency program
If you are interested in participating in a future ADVENTURE residency send an email with images of your work and a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADVENTURE, Camper Contemporary Residency Program is an experiment in creating new forms of curation. One of the most interesting aspects of Camper Contemporary’s first excursion to Miami Basel was sharing the experience with a group of nine artists I brought on the trip. I became interested in creating short travel experiences for groups of artists to participate in. The only reciprocation asked of the artists was that they spend the next week after the trip making a work that would then be displayed in a group show in Camper Contemporary. None of the artists knew where they would be going when they signed up for the trip (which certianly required an element of trust on their part). Likewise, I had to trust the artists to make good works based on their experience. I chose artists who submitted interesting work and made my final decisions based on similar interests and working styles. By carefully curating the group of artists going on the adventure, showing them the same sights, having them work together and fostering verbal interaction between them, I hoped their work would form a cohesive show.
The first group of three artists joined me in my studio to design and build boats out of children’s pool floats. They explored different ways of joining vinyl using the electric seam sealer and duct tape. The next day we used our boats to explore sunken ships in Curtis Bay on the south side of Baltimore Harbor. The adventure involved a long hike along the shore line to a suitable location from which to launch our boats towards a vessel whose rotten hull could be seen protruding from the water.
For the second group trip, I chose four artists based on their enthusiasm for the project. We explored the ruins of Fort Armistead and the surrounding wood. This concrete structure that was once a battery protecting the harbor is now a cruising spot for men looking for illicit recreation.
The resulting works from the first group were visually linked by the artists practice; all three relied partly on found objects and assemblage, but each focused on a different aspect of the adventure. Each of the works is compelling on their own. Combined together with pictures from the trip, they add another layer of interest by creating a narrative of the experience the artist shared.
The second group of artists responded in various mediums from photo collage and video to sculpture and to many different aspects of both the idea of exploring and their unique surroundings.
I installed both shows simultaneously in the camper, dividing the space in half and grouping the works by trip. By doing so the individual locations and groupings give way to the work itself and the concepts that guide the ADVENTURE program.
The results of these trips were not only successful exhibitions, but also allowed me to examine the issues of trust and chance that come from an institution / commission relationship. Artists interested in participating in future trips can send an artist statement and images to email@example.com.