Re:Mapping the Flâneur
It’s now 6 weeks since FORMAT11 ended. It took a while for everyone at ASA Collective and Wideyed to get over Mapping the Flâneur (it was a lot of hard work!), and then start digesting the experience…
Over the month that Mapping the Flâneur took place, 97 photographers from 20 collectives around the world contributed just over 700 of their images to the installation project. 700 images in a month might not seem like a lot in a world where thousands of pictures are uploaded to online image sharing sites every minute. But when you’re processing 700 images, publishing them with credits and captions to a tumblr site and sending them to print in a gallery, all one by one, believe us, it’s a lot. And at the end of the exhibition, we discovered we’d used 5 rolls of 40m long paper, totalling 200m, for the installation. Those are big prints.
As part of the application process for ACE G4TA grants, there’s a section dedicated to evaluation – ACE ask how you plan to monitor the progress of your work from start to finish, and consider its potential impact beyond. When you first start considering this, the most obvious measurements of achievement are quantifiable things like the numbers of visitors to the exhibition, press clippings and web hits; for example, based on the figures supplied to us by FORMAT, we estimate that 2,500-2,700 people saw Mapping the Flâneur in Derby. After that, there are things like written comments and word-of-mouth feedback, evaluation forms and SWOT analyses…
But it also occurred to us that, at the close of the exhibition, a large number and variety of images would have been received, and the potential to successfully re-curate these into another object – another exhibition, say – would be the most interesting measure of the quality of the project.
And that’s exactly what we’re about to attempt.
This is the gallery in Newcastle where we’ll be re-exhibiting Mapping the Flâneur – or Re:Mapping the Flâneur. The gallery is part of Newcastle Arts Centre, which 100 years ago was a department store, and the arched ceiling is a restored original feature. Given that the piece of work we’ll be exhibiting there was directly inspired by Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Arcades Project’, the fact that we’ll be using a space that not only looks like an arcade but was also used as a commercial space like one, is fantastic.
And this is roughly how we plan to use that space. Although the gallery is large, it’s nowhere near big enough to display five 40m long prints, so we’ll exhibit the best parts of three, and with these try to give an impression of the lengths of the prints and the scale of the original project they were produced in. The index card filing cabinet we used in the Collectives Encounter exhibition will make a reappearance, and we’ll also produce a 13m long print, especially for this show, as a means of introducing some context (information about the Derby installation, the photographers that took part and their collectives, and so on).
In addition, our collaboration with ASA Collective continues, as we’re working to transform all the images we received into something that can be screened or projected. Our hope is that any of the other collectives involved in this project can then take ownership of this piece, by showing it themselves if they wish. That they might take it for a walk…
The exhibition will run from 14th – 26th June 2011 at Newcastle Arts Centre, 67 Westgate Road, NE1 1SG
6pm onwards on Friday 24th June, the projection piece being created for this exhibition will be screened at a special event, timed to coincide with Sunderland University’s ‘The Versatile Image: Photography in the Era of Web 2.0‘.
We hope to see you there!