We are very excited to introduce one of our speakers for the upcoming W Project x Tate Exchange symposium, curator and creative Cairo Clarke. Cairo is a Chelsea College of Art graduate and has been involved in a variety of amazing projects such as managing Dalston based Sang Bleu’s art space prior to her MA and last summer she co-curated and produced an alternative summer programme for not-for-profit art organisation Bold Tendencies in collaboration with TPS. The programme focused on celebrating the diversity and energy within arts and music, working with an amazing line up including poet James Massiah, female creative collective BORN n BREAD and artist Lotte Andersen among many others.
Currently, Clarke is working on Touch Sensitive, an art programme exploring notions of the female body through a series of events and performances created in collaboration between herself and the artists. Cairo shared with us how the idea of this innovative exhibition that carries technological associations came about, “I had been working on a project with the Women’s Art Library where they have so many back issues of Women’s Art Magazine and so I contacted one of my tutors who kindly gave me a load of those when I told him I was researching for a project. I love looking at the history of women in art, working together and creating a network and community. I became really interested in the 1990s issues about women in art and technology and what they thought the future of females in art would be, especially with the internet and technology, and how they could claim agency of their bodies online.”
What makes this upcoming exhibition so unique is the fact that each day, the gallery space as such and the artists in residence will change. Through this continual rotation the audience will be able to experience a continuous exploration of the body through different perspectives. ”I like the idea of moving a lot of energy and having a happening in this space, and it being very important for people to be there. It is really important that this fluid and dynamic approach was taking place and that the space was being morphed into something different each time with each artist. Getting this across to the artists as a way for them to work was essential. It’s about working collaboratively in creating something within each artists own practice so by working on it together made us bounce off each other. This makes all of us think outside the box. Especially for me working with the artists directly has allowed me to think more like an artist would rather than trying to fit them into a vision or idea. It’s completely collaborative and is a huge part of the way I work.”
Being such a creative visionary, we asked Clarke what progress she’d like to see in the future of the art world. “My whole research throughout my course revolved around how curators could challenge grand narratives in art institutions. How you don’t have to display everything in a similar way. A space is not just a space for things to exist in. A space is as important as the outside world. All these things come in and out so I’d like the future to be as progressive as possible and to be more diverse and in a way, the world to become a cultural democracy. Everything has a context outside of the art space and I think it’s important to constantly allow these conversations to flow and to be as dynamic as possible.”
Touch Sensitive will take place between the 21st and 26th of March at Guest Projects’ space.
Credit: Touch Sensitive, Cairo Clarke, 2017.