CARVING THE NEGATIVE
TINOS - EVIA - LESVOS
CARNING THE NEGATIVE
curatorial text excerpts
"The action, “Carving the Negative” by ΤΗΕ ΤΕΛΟΣ SOCIETY, makes us confront three of the most important issues concerning the production and reception of contemporary art. The first of these, relates to the concept of the maker as well as the concept of the expertise regarding the creative condition. If we consider art as a field with specific boundaries and specializations, then, this position of unquestionable prestige and possession of knowledge associated with the role of the artist, is now occupied by a group, that in different circumstances would have hold the position of the spectator."
"A key question, and simultaneously a challenge, that arose during the exercise, was the term that would be most appropriate to describe the role of the participants. Is there a term that could appropriately define their contribution? Are they co-creators? Executors? Or maybe potential artists? Which component of the system has the most significance in the project; the inspirer of the idea or the one who implements it? Perhaps a new term should be invented that refers to those who implement the ideas of others, without the participation of the inspirers. Some may find this practice unethical. However, there is no norm, or rule that prohibits the realization of ideas that belong to others, as long as this is done with absolute respect to intellectual property."
"The most striking aspect of our collaboration was the lack of authorship. That is to say that the flow of ideas - aesthetic, conceptual, material, and spatial - was dispersed throughout the group to such an extent that it was near impossible to ascribe ideas to an individual. Ranging from drawings of secret local treasures on tavern tablecloths, to human chains forming the shape of bull rams, to synchronised screams within clay oil pots, and halting village traffic to climb on-top of cars and drinking ouzo with passers-by, the artistic gestures formulated were strongly bound to the local, personal and collective memory of Lesbos, and appear at first glance far removed from the original artistic concepts and keys provided by artists.
In the absence of the ‘gift-giver’ (artist), and without a material object as the centre of social exchange, Carving the Negative facilitated a path for a new kind of ‘gift exchange’ to be materialised. Blurring the line between giver and recipient, the programme arguably facilitated a new kind of social bond - one based on deep listening and openness to new ways of learning how to be together with our memories (personal and collective) in place."