Markas Klisius and Koye Odejinmi - “work in progress” curators
There’s still time to catch our inspiring “work in progress” CSM Short Courses exhibition, featuring student and tutor created work made upon short courses. Curated by recent graduates Markas Klisius and Koye Odejinmi, Koye explains how they put together such a wonderful display across the two window galleries.
Short Courses Window Gallery Exhibition 2019
Markas and I were tasked with organizing the 2019 CSM Short Courses exhibition, given the responsibility of showing both students and tutors work. Markas and I both recently graduated from BA Culture, Criticism and Curation from Central Saint Martins and so this was a perfect opportunity for us to put our curating knowledge to good use. It was pleasure to work together as we both share a similar visual language and were able to communicate references easily with one another.
Markas Klisius and Koye Odejinmi, curators
We were overwhelmed by the number of responses for the exhibition and it was extremely difficult to select which artists we were going to show. Looking through the submissions we were immediately struck by the range of work on offer and the many ways students had interpreted their mediums. We wanted the exhibition to reflect the diversity of the students that attend short courses from all over the world and so we decided it would be a good idea to include both physical work and digital prints.
We decided that the best way to represent the CSM Short Courses department would be to offer some sort of insight into the workings of the classroom and so we chose the theme “work in progress”. We were interested in highlighting the vast range of courses on offer and promoting the multidisciplinary nature of those artistic practices. We wanted to place less emphasis on the finished product and explore the process more, which is a major part of learning and developing in an arts institution. To do this we also requested sketchbooks from participants in order to show their inspirations. For instance Yuko Ishihara's display includes her initial mood board as well as development sketches and the final prototype.
Short Courses Window Gallery Exhibition 2019, left window gallery
To further emphasise the work in progress theme we wanted to allude to the creativity of the studio environment. We thought a lot about traditional as well as less conventional spaces and what people might expect to see in the studio: tables, tools, reference material etc. We tried our best to source the majority of the material for the exhibition in-house, salvaging materials that had been left behind over the summer. We did this in order to keep our use of materials as sustainable as possible whilst making authentic gestures towards the working space. We allowed the layout of the display to change over the installation period, making space for new materials that we found. We wanted to integrate these materials into our curation of the show to give the feeling of someone who was moving through the window, working on multiple projects simultaneously.
Speaking with both tutors and past students it was exciting to hear so much positive feedback about short courses, with the students speaking so highly of their tutors. As well as hearing about the tutors becoming invested in their students and their progress beyond their time at Central Saint Martins. For this reason we wanted to integrate the work of the tutors and the students, primarily because they influence each other so much. As anyone who has spent time under advisory will know, it is a symbiotic relationship where people gather and share ideas, while you are being taught you have the opportunity to learn also from your peers as well as sharing your own personal experiences with others. This in turn influences the practice of those around you. The dialogue was extremely important and can be seen in many of the windows where we were able to place students work next to their original tutors.
Short Courses Window Gallery Exhibition 2019, right window gallery
The exhibition aims to showcase the variety of different work produced in these short courses and provide an opportunity for students to show their work to a wider audience. It was a good opportunity for the students to recollect on their experiences of Central Saint Martins. The whole experience was extremely rewarding, working with the support of the Short Courses department, and especially all of the students and tutors who were so willing to participate in the exhibition. Without them none of this would have been possible.