Late night talk at the Whitechapel Gallery yesterday, from our own Shane Waltener and maker Helen Carnac. It was badged as a discussion on the Art v Craft debate – with both of the speakers straddling / crossing whatever boundaries exisit between fine art and crafts.
Key thoughts and questions I noted:
- What is the relationship between the viewer an the object? Does this make an impact on whether it is art or craft object?
- Shane proposed: a CRAFT object needs to refer to its own making or the process of making; an ART object doesn’t, it prompts you to forget the making or look at it differently.
- When an object is very well made – high craftsmanship – you can almost forget about the making and understand it in a different way
- Technique can be an inhibitor to learning
- How does the object interact with space?
- What matters more – the object or its making? Should we dispose of the objects and just leave the instructions?
- It is not about the looking – it is about experiencing. Does the value of art get reduced by not being able to interact with it?
Some of Shane’s work that he showed which I really liked:
Helen, a maker and curator, talked about her most recent residency with dancer Laila Diallo. She talked about having a fascination for edges – which I really resonated with. She said “edges were fertile places” which I thought was such a great way of thinking about it. She also described how she and Laila had collected as shared words during their time together which acted as a soundboard for thoughts and ideas. I rather liked this, and this was my collection of words I wrote down during her talk.