Quiet Rebellions: Hidden Transcripts

 

Quiet Rebellions: Hidden Transcripts

People can find themselves in situations where they are at the mercy of those in power. These situations have a public transcript or an accepted front to the situation that everyone has to be seen to agree with. Open criticism of the public transcript may put a person at risk of emotional, physical or economic retribution from those in power. In this exhibition I try to make public the transcripts that normally remain hidden.

Quiet Rebellions: Hidden Transcripts

Quiet Rebellions: Hidden Transcripts explores how people can find themselves in situations where they are at the mercy of those in power. These situations have a public transcript or an accepted front to the situation that everyone has to be seen to agree with. Open criticism of the public transcript may put a person at risk of emotional, physical or economic retribution from those in power. In this exhibition, Ruth tries to make public the transcripts that normally remain hidden.

Ruth uses muted colours to create ephemeral, translucent barriers over portraits of transcript givers, making them difficult to distinguish – in part to maintain the anonymity of the subjects but also to reflect the hidden quality of the transcripts.

Alongside these works, visitors are invited to contribute to the project, providing their own anonymous transcripts that will be added to the work as the exhibition continues.

The exhibition runs from 29 March – 19 April 2015. A Private View will be held on Saturday 28 March at Rayleigh WIndmill, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 7ED.

Tiny Acts of Care

Tiny Acts of Care

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I took care when I drew this. It is small but carefully drawn. I thought of you while I drew it. I thought that you deserved one small act of care from a stranger, to let you know that you matter. I want you to have it. I want you to take this tiny act of care, to help you take care of yourself.

Tiny Acts of Care is an ongoing project. I leave small hand drawn pictures in public places for people to take. I want to offer people a thoughtful moment. To know that they are important, regardless of whom they are. Every person is equally important. Whoever finds a tiny act of care is welcome to it, to reconsider their worth, their luck, and their place in society.

If you are the recipient of a tiny act of care, you can record it with the #tinyactsofcare or #taoc on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or other social media.

Considering Free Play and The Self

“You are not ashamed to care for the acquisition of wealth and for reputation and honour, but you do not concern yourselves with yourselves, that is, with wisdom, truth and perfection of the soul.”[1]

 

Is there a theoretical link between ‘care’ for the self with the notion of ‘free play’. Can art be seen as a method of allowing an audience to ‘care’ for their ‘self’ through ‘free play’.

My previous works have looked at ways of engaging an audience more fully – to create a dialogue with the audience. In particular I aimed to create works that allowed the audience a quiet space for reflection; works that encouraged a state of free play either by physically consuming them or by being so ephemeral you were unsure they were there.

I was interested in the democracy I believe is offered by art – that all who submit themselves to a lack of knowledge when viewing a new art work, become equal. This notion is rooted in my research of Jacques Ranciere’s “The Emancipated Spectator”. It is this understanding of art and its ability to ‘equalise’ people of different classes, genders, ages, races etc. that has lead me to consider how politics in art does not necessarily have to be as obvious as Ranciere suggests it should be. I believe it is possible to construct an argument that uses free play and ‘self care’ to prove that the political power of art does not require political subject matter.

I consider an artwork to be separate and complete in its alterity; indifferent to the view it is subjected to. The indifferency of the art object allows the viewer to play freely with its appearance [2]– it promotes an attitude in the viewer that allows them to take part in an activity of ‘self care’: to discover and consider one’s beliefs and how they align with the art object and what that art object purports. Its indifferency allows the viewer a full, thorough, and most importantly, “objective” focal point to test their internal truths against. It encourages the viewer to turn their “aletheia” into “ethos”.[3]

I believe that art is uniquely placed to provide people with the opportunity to care for their “self” through ‘free play’.

[1] Plato’s Apology, Page 20, lines14, Michel Foucault in Technologies of the Self, The University of Massachusetts Press, 1988.

[2] “Schillers Juno Ludovisi…does nothing, wants nothing and offers no model for imitation…”Page 69, line 4, Jacques Ranciere, The emancipated Spectator, Verso, 2009,

[3] “…a set of practices by which one can acquire, assimilate, and transform truth into a permanent principle of action. Aletheia becomes ethos…” Page 35, line 28, Michel Foucault in Technologies of the Self, The University of Massachusetts Press, 1988.