• Michelle Cook

On purposeful dis-engagement

Updated: Nov 30, 2019

L is for Letting Go, a participatory text installation, was shown in the XXX-Posed Art Show (London) from 15-21 January 2019.

Building upon Katrina’s Windon’s theory on the right to material decay, the interaction asked that participants read and destroy a critical essay about the ethics of institutional and public documentation of performative artworks. Each script was reproduced on tissue paper with a typewriter to act as material register of otherwise invisible intellectual labour. The work explores performance as ritual, and takes a stance against the modern impulse to build a personal archive of snapshots, ultimately suggesting that the documentation of temporal works must first place value on "forgetting" and shadow an “ethics of letting go” (Katrina Windon. 2012. “The Right to Decay with Dignity”).

XXXPosed, curated by Minerva Amiss, was the first of a series of exhibitions deconstructing what it means to be on show. It brought together eighteen emerging artists working across various media to show a collection that defied normal taxonomies which dictate that this should be shown with that, and that should be shown that much. For Minerva Amiss, the production was an act of resistance against the ordered systems of expression, growth, and development which typically stagger the life cycle of an artist. For the artists, the exhibition was a moment to share what moves us, to assume a posture, to act and interact authentically, in flux. The meeting invited dialogue, comparison, collaboration, and play. For one week, the Academy became a re-claimed space where we tapped into a cycle of emancipation-contemplation-release.

* research available on request

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