fig-2 50 projects in 50 weeks A Capture of the Aesthetic and Critical Currency of our times
fig., stands for illustration of ideas in its becoming. fig-2 as an exhibition cycle, that generated 50 projects in 50 weeks at the ICA Studio in 2015, curated by Fatos Ustek with assistant curators Yves Blais and Jessica Temple, project assistant Irene Altaio and publication assistant Giovanni Gonzales. Adopting the principle of laying situations to engage with the artistic and institutional frameworks, fig-2 positions itself in the heart of discourse and production, aiming at its exhibitions to also function as illustrations of the urgencies, desires of our times alongside their experiential manifestations. Each exhibition, thence triggers a situation, becomes a place for exploration and encounter while the series formulate itself as a capture of aesthetic and critical currencies of our times.
fig-2 is revival of the seminal exhibition fig-1 initiated by Mark Francis (currently director at Gagosian, London) and Jay Jopling (founder of White Cube) established in December 1999. Fig-1 was curated by Mark Francis, as 50 exhibitions in 50 weeks showcasing a work at a time in a house in Soho. Run from an independent space, ﬁg-1 situated itself between museum, gallery and artist’s studio, maintaining freedom from institutional and commercial obligations. Bold and experimental by nature, the year was programmed only a few weeks ahead, so as to remain flexible and responsive. fig-1 played a crucial role in the shaping of the contemporary art scene in London. In its revival, fig-2 reflects and embraces the cultural and artistic landscape of UK.
fig-2’s main function is to provide a ground for activation and experimentation of ideas, which then can lead to a proliferation of modalities of knowledge production. fig-2 performs as a non-institutional institution, merging cerebral and visceral outputs towards generating knowledge through exhibitions, collaborations among artists, scientists, dancers and fashion designers through curatorial practice seminar series and workshops. Operating on unleashing desires and experimental approaches, programming 50 different and connected exhibitions in a sequence, fig-2 displays urgencies and necessities clustered around contemporary art, and the fact that artistic and creative conduct draws influences from other disciplines. Thus, with an estimated overall budget of 380,000.00 GBP dedicated to the projects and the administration at fig-2, the programme engaged with artists alongside experts from their respective fields of sciences and humanities, fig-2 portrays the future of artistic and creative endeavors.
With fig-2’s series of exhibitions coming to an end, there emerges an urgent need to document the 50 projects, and amplify the themes that are brought up throughout the programme.
fig-2 publication is positioned within the wider context of fig-2 programme and in respect to the legacy of fig-1. As a substantial component of the fig-2 exhibition series, the publication commemorates the project in detail, and also expands its discursive platform to other writers and curators, inviting them to respond to the conceptual integrity of the programme. Thus, fig-2 publication functions as a practical and visual guide for future institutions, while simultaneously introducing a theoretical foundation for creating and producing exhibitions.
fig-2 Publication Contents:
fig-2 publication allows the viewer to engage with the project in its entirety displaying positions by 60 artists, 5 artist duos and collectives, and 405 collaborating activists, actors, architects, choreographers, curators, cybernetics experts, dancers, editors, musicians, scientists, speakers, and writers that fig-2 worked with. To give the reader an insight into the programme, the publication will introduce a variety of different previously unpublished material that is relevant to particular exhibitions, both from the artist and from the fig-2 archive, which is built over the year. These will include high resolution scans of artists’ preparatory drawings and sketches, film stills, mid-installation photographs, portraits of the artists, as well as features of projects which artists have continued to develop over 2015 and that have directly correlated to their project at fig-2.
A) Featuring of 50 projects of fig-2 by the artists: Laura Eldret (1/50), Charles Avery (2/50); Hiraki Sawa (3/50); Simon Welsh (4/50); Rebecca Birch (5/50); Young in Hong (6/50); Claire Hooper & Maria Loboda (7/50); Edmund Cook (8/50); Deborah Coughlin with Gaggle (9/50); Annika Ström (10/50); Beth Collar (11/50); Tom McCarthy (12/50); Shezad Dawood (13/50); Suzanne Treister (14/50); The White Review (15/50); Jacopo Miliani (16/50); Charlotte Moth (17/50); Kathryn Elkin (18/50); Ruth Beale (19/50); D. Cheeseman, O. Hagen, R.Trotta (20/50); The Rot of the Stars (21/50); Marjolijn Dijkman (22/50); Eva Rothschild & Joe Moran (23/50); Ben Judd (24/50); Cecilia Bengolea, Celia Hempton & Prem Sahib (25/50); Anne Hardy (26/50); Karen Mirza (27/50); Patrick Coyle & Francesco Pedraglio (28/50); POSTmatter (29/50); Anna Barham (30/50); Broomberg & Chanarin (31/50); Oreet Ashery (32/50); El Ultimo Grito (33/50); Veronika Hauer (34/50); Amy Stephens (35/50); Eva Grubinger (36/50); Melanie Manchot (37/50); John Wright & Guillaume Vandame (38/50); Darren Bader (39/50); Una Knox (40/50); FOS (41/50); Bruce McLean (42/50); Karin Kihlberg & Reuben Henry (43/50); Anthea Hamilton (44/50); Lynne Marsh (45/50); Vesna Petresin (46/50); Allison Katz (47/50); Seth Ayyaz (48/50); Manuel Mathieu (49/50) and Laura Eldret (50/50)
B) Commissioned Essays:fig-2 publication acts as a survey of current artistic practices, as well as a proposal for the future art institutions. In this regard, the publication invites six writers to offer critique and insights to contemporary art and its institutions, bringing in perspectives that fabricate our reception and experience of contemporary art, highlighting its urgencies and desires, pronouncing its critical and aesthetic currencies with an insight to the future of arts.
Preface, by fig-1 curator and Director Mark Francis, Introduction by Fatos Ustek, fig-2 curatorSpecially Commissioned essays by Louisa Buck, Caroline Douglas and Gilda Willams; a conversation between Hans Ulrich Obrist and Fatos Ustek, an interview with Catherine Wood.
Editor: Fatos Ustek
Assistant Editors: Irene Altaio, Yves Blais and Jessica Temple
Publication Assistant: Giovanni Gonzales
Design: Brighten the Corners