Opening this week in the Cookhouse and Triangle Space and running from 20 Oct – 27 Oct 2016, Parallax #2 is an exhibition that brings together work by a selection of Chelsea staff and students and those from ASP Katowice in Poland. The second exhibition resulting from an international exchange between these two institutions, this year’s project explores the art school, and asks questions about what an art school is and what it might become.
The second exhibition of its kind, with the first taking place in Poland from June – September 2015 to mark the completion of the Katowice Fine Art Academy’s new building, Parallax acknowledges that an art school’s function is a test site: one that allows for discourse to be enacted through making work, where ideas and approaches, methods and technologies are shared, challenged and developed.
Gill Addison, senior lecturer in Fine Art at Chelsea, exhibited in that first exhibition and is also showing a new piece of work as part of this one. “Last year in Katowice we were really just getting to know each other and that first exhibition definitely felt like the beginnings of something” she explains. “This time, when they have visited us here at Chelsea, there has naturally been more of a dialogue around what’s happening with the work because we’ve already met each other, had conversations back-and-forth about the two events and been able to set up collaborations and discuss future work.”
The work shown in the first Parallax exhibition responded directly to the architecture of their new, purpose-built art school and was installed in the months before the students moved in. That this time round it is taking place at Chelsea, whose buildings are steeped in history and has reimagined over generations of occupants, means the exhibition will exist in a very different context. The artworks, made in a range of media including film, photography, text, performance and sculpture will provide responses to what an art school may be: as a place, an idea, a community, a set of histories or as an architectural site.
For Parallax #2, Gill will be exhibiting a new piece of work made this summer during her time at The British School at Rome where she was had a PhD scholarship – as well as teaching at Chelsea, she is saying part time for PhD at UAL’s Central Saint Martins which focuses on artists who work with moving image, and how their research is manifested in their film and video works.
Her piece is a video work shown on a three screen installation, accompanied by notes, maps and diagrams which make the process of creating work visible. “It’s the first time I have ‘shown my workings’, as it were” she says. “It’s important to me to test this out in a work, and really it’s definitely about learning. As both a practitioner as well as a teacher I am learning in an art school every day, so this is about looking at how those two roles feed into each other and the vulnerabilities of that.”
The process of exhibiting has also put these two roles into focus for her: “What’s been nice this time round with staff and students is the level of collegiality we have found from doing an exhibition install together. It’s been really nice to speak to colleagues I see on a daily basis as fellow practitioners and that’s been a really rich experience because that usually doesn’t occur – it’s nice to step out from our roles was teachers and see each other as artists and designers. That staff exhibiting together are also not from the same courses also adds to the experience – it has been really interesting and positive to work together across disciplines.”
“In this way, the exchange hasn’t only happened with our colleagues in Katowice but with our colleagues here too, which his wonderful.”
Parallax #2 runs in the Cookhouse and Triangle Space at Chelsea until 27 Oct 2016. Find out more on the event page.
Find out about studying BA Fine Art at Chelsea on our course page.