From 2011–13, I have been following Jane Boyer’s progress as she has brought her curatorial project This ‘Me’ of Mine from “idea to intention,” and now to realisation. The Arts Council England-funded touring exhibition is currently up at Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks.
I contributed an interview with Jane and an essay on the web-based portion of This ‘Me’ of Mine to the forthcoming exhibition catalogue, titled This ‘Me’ of Mine: Self, Time and Context in the Digital Age.
Here is a snippet from the essay, “Distributed Practice: thismeofmine.wordpress.com”:
Some of the most revealing posts record conversations with gallery visitors, who disrupt polite appreciation with challenging questions and even drunken behaviour. Jane’s critical discussion with Jeremy Wilson, about his disappointing experience of the show, resulted in the production of two powerful texts—one each by Jeremy and Jane—about the oft-dismissed role of audience in art presentation. Another interlocutor, the “Left-Handed Bricklayer,” arrived somewhat the worse for wear, but talked openly of his desire to make art and to move past the limitations of his own difficult context. In a post dated April 13, 2013, Jane noted: “I realised his being there was important, even if we did feel uncomfortable.”
For every pristine installation shot she uploads, Jane includes images of visitors in conversation, with each other and around the works, in the gallery. Her choices correspond to one of the exhibition’s core values: People count.
The book includes interviews with all of the show’s artists, as well as essays and creative texts by This ‘Me’ of Mine symposium speakers and other artists, writers, and scholars. On the project website, you can sign up for updates on the book’s content and publication date.