IN September (2011) 9 members of the artreview.com group PRAXIS initiated a collage each. We mailed our piece to the group member east of our location who added to the work and sent it east again for the next contribution.
The 9 collages circumnavigated the globe returning to the originator who completes the work and will post it to Berkeley CA for exhibition. PRAXIS is one of several 'Round Table Collaboration' groups whose collage-works will be on show in February.
Collage is cutting and pasting with scalpel and glue, scissors, and fiddly little bits of paper and not at all the cut-and-paste we've become accustomed to on our computers. In exasperation no doubt, some of us resorted to painting and why not?
RHINOT : Niki Hare
At least one of our completed collages has arrived in Berkeley, and mine, in 3 parts from a last huzzah of scalpel frenzy, is seen below on its last transit to destination.
Thanks-Gods-for-that I'd thought as I finished my piece. I thought that again after I photographed and packaged, put up online, and once more when I had queued up and finally mailed the packet.
TsGsforTHAT, although it's not over. Next there is the showing and attendant documentation and promotion - in some sense the 'real work' starts now.
Each collage has had 10 manifestations. The initiator's, who also concludes the work (2), and each group member's take (+8 = 10). 9 pieces will be the outcome and the 9 have 90 manifestations in total. There might be slide-shows and videos marking the progress of each piece.
Some of the works held up quite well to the process, others amalgamated, separated, and transformed utterly developing into mutli-panel spreads. At times, some were reduced to over-layered homogenous muddles. All transcend the method and the sum of the parts.
I have a new insight into my online Praxian friends. I know their work in the virtual world and through this project have seen passing it under my hands with collage after collage.
In the transition from virtual to real not all of the insight has been easy. Some of my group were slow or backed the pieces into pairs. Some tried too hard, others sought to dominate by their contributions, and some seemed to crave nurturing. I probably annoyed them in turn. Online, It is so simple to ignore these factors. Judging by their input to PRAXIS and other social and art networks, some use the virtual world as a central plank in their operation as artists.
And none of the above is 'bad'. We were not actors in a company, or musicians, none of us are performing artists. All of us function solo and artists are meant to try hard, to dominate the work with their ideas, and we all need and can give a bit of nurturing, it's just that when you collaborate creatively a lot of shit skims to the surface.