Exhibition: A Short Organum for Exhibition



A Short Organum for Exhibition

1 May 2014 – ongoing

kynastonmcshine is pleased to present the second part of the ongoing project involving Terry Atkinson and Jeffrey Charles Henry Peacock, which can be viewed online and downloaded from this website by clicking on the image above.

The project consists of written responses by Terry Atkinson to an organum written by Jeffrey Charles Henry Peacock on the subject of how to produce a critical form of exhibition making in the current conditions of the art world. Two essays and the script of a talk written by Terry Atkinson begin the correspondence with the JCHP statement, and these are followed by a piece of writing by kynastonmcshine.

The organum by JCHP asks if it is now possible for an artistic practice to side-step, outwit, or otherwise present a productive critical challenge to the current culture of what they call “exhibitionism” in the realm of art. The crucial point of contention here is that “exhibitionism”, as they see it, is the principal form of “the economy of visibility” in the art world, where the relations of distribution of art have become the principal form and modus operandi of the relations of production for artistic practice in general, and vice versa.

In response to this observed condition, JCHP have written an organum consisting of twenty points, plus an addendum, which attempts to scientifically, or we might say logically, diagnose and prognosticate on what may still be possible within artistic practice to operate as a critical method that tackles head-on the challenges of contemporary exhibition culture. The fulcrum of all the statements in the organum is the exhibition by JCHP from 24 January to 2 March 2014 presented at Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, curated by Sadie Kerr and titled “CRITICAL DÉCOR: WHAT WORKS!” Written both before and after this exhibition, JCHP’s organum asks if it is possible to present a partial artwork (i.e. a work that is definitively unfinished), and if so whether this strategy of the withholding of satisfaction of ‘full visibility’ presents a viable critical position vis-à-vis “exhibitionism”.

Terry Atkinson’s responses pick apart some of the key elements of the JCHP statement, exploring and questioning the tenets of their declarations and descriptions. Atkinson, relating the convergences and divergences of his own critique with that of JCHP’s, continues to explore one of the main focuses of critical attention in his artistic practice, ‘the AGMOAS’ (the Avant-Garde Model of the Artistic Subject) and its relation to what he calls the Corporate Tyranny of contemporary capitalistic crypto-ideology.

Terry Atkinson founded Art & Language in 1968 with David Bainbridge, Michael Baldwin and Harold Hurrell.

Jeffrey Charles Henry Peacock is the collective practice of artists Dave Smith and Thom Winterburn.

To view and download the papers from this Part II of the project, please click the image above.

To view Parts I & III of this project, please click the image below:


JCHP background image sml