Sharon and Sarah as members of the Women's Art Activation System, have been selected to take part in the Art Licks weekend 2018.
Presenting ourselves as officials from the fictitious Bureau for the Validation of Art, and dressed in suits, we will offer artists and galleries the opportunity to submit their work for validation. The Officials will make a decision on whether the art is valid as art and provide an official stamp and docket recording the validation.
We will roam around the Art Licks Weekend exhibits engaging and provoking conversation around the theme and about who gets to decide what is valid and what isn’t, the importance of validation processes, and the socio-psychological importance of bureaucratic and other forms of ritual in defining who we are and what we are and are not able to do.
This year's theme at Art Licks is 'Peripheries'.
Many peripheral artists and art forms remain peripheral partly because they have not been authorised, validated or officially recognised by accepted institutions or frameworks. This can be a problem for visibility as well as making some artists feel dislocated, excluded and even frustrated. There are also financial and career impacts of not being ‘seen’, accepted or validated. By offering a validation ritual in the form of an ‘official’ bureaucratic process, we intend to address the psychological aspects of being on the periphery, and to raise consciousness of this social setting by provoking questions and conversations.. We can also consider questions of the importance of artists bringing new, ‘outside’ perspectives, of the impossibility of the official authorisation of art, of the necessity for peripheries to not only exist but to thrive in order to feed the ‘official’ culture, and whether peripherality is actually a condition for the production of ‘good’ interesting or new ideas.
The project is currently self-funded and costs us apart from our time of course, travel to London from the peripheral Stroud, plus costumes, stamp, clipboards and other paraphernalia of bureacracy. So the funding is a way for us to present the project to the public and we are hugely grateful to anyone who shows their appreciation by supporting the project. Thanks!