Daniel Melim (Portugal) and Rachel Cohen (UK)
The artist sits on a chair behind a desk and gives free drawings to the public. The drawings are made following exclusively the visitor's wish. As the visitor sits on the chair opposite to the artist, he/she is asked ‘What drawing he/she wishes the artist to make for him/herself’. Throughout the process, the artist merely poses questions in order to fully understand the visitor's wishes. The artist only asks such questions within an emotional/intellectual territory which is comfortable to the visitor; to address questions outside that territory, the artist just uses his own intuition (e.g.: if a certain aspect of the desired drawing is not clear to the visitor, the artist will not force that clarity through questions).The artist uses all his technical, logistic and comprehensive capacities and references to serve the image the visitor wishes for. The artist never refuses to make any kind of drawing whatsoever. At the end of the process the visitor can take the drawing with him/her. No copy of the drawing will be kept by the artist.
The drawing sessions will last three hours. And extra fourth hour can be added if necessary. Also if necessary, a time limit of 45 minutes per drawing will be set and announced to other attending visitors. The drawing is made with the materials and resources available on the table: A2 sheets of paper, a range of drawing materials, books and magazines, a laptop with internet connection.
The artist wishes to step out of the market logic of making/selling products. The artist wants to know what are the images that people wish for. The artist wants to dedicate his full attention to the person in front of him. The artist is interested in the verbal communicability of an image. The artist is curious to find out who (how and why) is actually leading each of these specific creative processes of Free Drawing. The artist wishes to approach the source of art making through a different angle from the western solipsistic sufferer. The artist is interested in the creative disjunction between conception and execution of an image. The artist is interested in collective processes of making images. The artist wants to know to what extent he can disappear as an author and still be the vehicle/midwife for something to exist. The artist wants to know if there is an Author, and if the Author is not just a useful mystification/convention – the same kind the isolated "I" is. The artist is at service. The artist is vulnerable. The artist is curious whether he feels free or restricted in this process.
Rachel Cohen invites visitors at Drawing Spaces to take part in the latest phase of her Chinese Whispers Generative Drawing Project.
Chinese Whispers is a game of faulty communication usually played with words. In this version we play with drawings.
The first drawing is made by the artist. It is copied by a participant whose drawing is then copied by another participant, and so on. Even though each person copies the drawing as faithfully as they can, the image mutates gradually and soon becomes unrecognisable.
It is a game that mimics processes of evolution in nature and in culture.
The outcome, displayed in the gallery space, will be a complex sequence of drawings that spread and branch in different directions. You can't take your drawing away with you but you can see it later in context of the bigger picture.
Rachel's research to date, in collaboration with a psychologist and a computer scientist, has focused on the relative stability of certain subjects and details in the drawings and on the influence of words on our ability to read the resulting indeterminate images.
You will also be able to take part in some of these experiments by adding titles or verbal descriptions to drawings made by others. Contributions can be in Portuguese or English or any other language.
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