Mecklenburg Square Garden Project. 26.09.2020
Amikam Toren – Chandan Gomes | Anne Hardy – Sujit Mallik | Calum F. Kerr – Gagan Singh | David Batchelor – Achia Anzi | International Lawns – Vaibhav Raj Shah | Jo Stockham – Tapan Moharana | Naomi Salaman – Charmi Gada Shah | Oona Grimes & Tony Grisoni – Muskaan Singh | Ruth Maclennan – Yogesh Barve | Swapnaa Tamhane – Nilanjana Nandy.
Co-curated by Clair Joy and Jasone Miranda-Bilbao
Ideas travel faster than light (Mecklenburg Square Garden Project), general view
Ideas Travel Faster than Light, general view at the Mecklenburgh. Square Garden Project
Ideas travel faster than light is an ongoing project initiated by Jasone Miranda-Bilbao. It began in 2015 with an invitation to nine artists working in Spain, the UK and the US to submit proposals for new works, together with instructions on how to make them, and nine artists based in India to produce them according to their interpretation and understanding. The resulting works became a collaboration between the artists and were exhibited at the NIV Art Centre (New Delhi) alongside a publication that collected the instructions, images of the works and an essay written by Matthew Poole.
The current exhibition, collaborating with the artist Clair Joy as part of the Mecklenburgh Square Garden Project (an annual outdoor event initiated by her in 2012) constitutes the second edition of Ideas travel faster than light with Jasone inviting ten artists from India and Clair inviting ten artists/collaborations from the UK and Canada.
The Mecklenburgh Square Garden Project was generated with the attitude of embracing the possibility of making and situating works in the context of the communal garden, deliberately ignoring some of the expected constraints, as a way of seeing things differently. The project explores ideas and approaches that connect to the landscape, using a specific theme for each exhibition. The lack of infrastructure, as well as the creative investment of the participating artists, allows for some immediacy and freedom as well as risk. Ideas travel faster than light constitutes the fifth exhibition in the garden from a planned series of six. It brings the idea and question of the complex material connection between places, people and shared space on a global scale to the project.
In his essay, Matthew Poole proposes that Ideas travel faster than light is a critique of capitalism, an experiment that ‘seeks to explore how art can outstrip or outrun its ideological heritage and current intrinsic makeup, because, for an object to travel faster than light, it has to jettison that which facilitates its existence’. Jasone Miranda-Bilbao is an artist that lives and works between London and New Delhi. The main idea of the project came to her when she felt she wanted to put artist friends who did not know each other in touch and as a practical solution to the problem of transporting their works across distances on a low budget. This became a matrix of events and things grew from there in response to the possibilities offered by that condition and situation. Since ideas have a level of materiality different to objects that occupy a physical space, they can be lighter cheaper and freer to move. Although at the time of its conception faster than light constituted a form of resistance that is the result of Jasone’s way of living and working, the new post-Covid-19 situation has amplified some of its aspects and potential and given it an unexpected twist.
As a modus operandi that sets up relations at distance, this exhibition in Mecklenburgh Square Garden could not have been better timed, and yet, it does not claim to point at the injustices of the world nor to offer a solution to the pressing problems that face us. Its relation to aesthetics and to what lies behind the artwork is somewhat different. It constitutes a relational configuration that stretches and contracts and re-addresses the balance between the work of art and the ideas that lie behind it in a way that does not give authority to the power of one mode of production over the power of the other.
Clair Joy and Jasone Miranda-Bilbao
Mecklenburgh Square Garden Project (http://mecklenburghsquaregarden.org.uk/art/)
Clair joy @clairjoylondon