Black Mountain


Tarpaulin, para cord, interlocking foam mats, carpet underlay, ratchet straps, bricks

Part of Black Mountain Exibition by Catalyst Arts with Cecilia Borettaz, Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti, Andreas Kindler Von Knobloch and Hamish MacPherson. Screening programme: Redmond Entwistle and Adriana Monti

Black Mountain is a six-week project that uses the gallery space as a platform to bring together artists, researchers, curators and the general public.

The title refers to Black Mountain College, one of the most well known experimental art schools of post-war America, based in a remote area of North Carolina. What made Black Mountain unique was the teachers’ and students’ approach to creative production, often involving collective making and encouraging overlaps between disciplines including dance, architecture, painting, theatre and music.

The faculty of professors were all highly regarded practitioners in the fields of art, music and architecture such as Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller and John Cage among others. They shared a strong, common interest in the processes of experimentation, considered in its broader meaning of both empirical scientific method and ‘experience’ which involves knowledge and skills.

Those aspects of Black Mountain’s legacy seems to be reflected in the contemporary self-organized (free!) schools and alternative education models in contemporary art, where utopian structures and radical ideas have been tested and reframed through the experience and experimentation of the artists, students and researchers involved.

In this framework, is it possible to turn a gallery space into a living, metamorphic exhibition that allows artistic processes to be visible and open to changes and engagement? What can we learn from a collective experience of sharing knowledge? In our current environment of instability, inequality and misrecognition of the role of the arts, education and critical thinking – this project aims to be a starting point for a further reflection about the importance of artists initiatives and their impact in the local community.

Overturning the notion of the traditional exhibition, invited collaborators will work in Catalyst Arts using this period as a micro-residency, developing site-specific commissions that will generate a series of publicly engaged workshops, talks and screenings.

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