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TRADE 2004 – 2005


TRADE (exchange swap barter)

TRADE has invited artists’ agencies, collectives and resource centres from around the world to participate in an event which combines exhibitions of their practice, projects and documentation along with presentations and exchange sessions.

Locating this discourse within a rural context that takes account of the fluid and evolving arts scene in Roscommon and Leitrim, TRADE aims to support the creative energy that is evident in these two neighbouring counties, and present an alternative mechanism for artists from here and elsewhere, agencies, audiences, students, to meet, engage, learn and debate – to trade – across borders. Underlying the open nature of this event is an aspiration to generate ideas and thinking around sustaining alternative artistic practices that are concerned with a connection to place and an active engagement with contemporary socio-political and cultural scenes. Framing the event within a ‘trade show’ format, the invited agencies will exhibit work and documentation from their projects, and invite delegates to share perspectives on their practice via formal exchange sessions and on a one-to-one basis.

An important part of TRADE is the inclusion of selected work by local artists from both counties which has been made, or is proposed as new work, out of their involvement with international contexts. Sally Maidment represents and builds on her Resource Room – an information centre for artists interested in international contexts, travel and opportunities – which was commissioned as part of Artist-as-Traveller, 2004. The connection to organic producers and farmers from the North West of Ireland will give us the opportunity to taste and experience local produce, sustaining us throughout the event.

TRADE is developed by Cliodhna Shaffrey (curator); Roscommon Arts Officer, Philip Delamere; Leitrim Arts Officer, Caoimhín Corrigan and Anna-Marie O’Rourke from Visual Leitrim. It received a Partnership Funding Award from the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and is funded by Roscommon and Leitrim County Councils and Visual Leitrim. facilitators

Cliodhna Shaffrey is a curator. She held a residency in 2004 with Leitrim County Council and Visual Leitrim, developing Artists-as-Traveller. Recent work includes Peripheral Visions, with Nigel Rolfe for Cork Film Centre; The Happiest Country in the World, with Ruairi O Cuiv; Dublin’s Last Supper by artists John Byrne and commissioned by M.J. Wallace Ltd., and The Projection Room for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. She will curate Eigse Carlow 2006, and is joint artistic director with Sarah Finlay for South Dublin County Council’s In Context 3 percent for art programme, and is public art project manager with Dublin Docklands Authority. Brian Hand is an artist and course director of the Gorey School of Art, he was curator of Critical Voices 2 in 2003 and has worked on numerous projects over the past 15 years. He is currently making a work about the life and death of Emily Davison.

Sally Maidment has worked in Ireland, Cyprus, Portugal and Luxembourg as an artist and administrator. In 2004 she curated the resource room for Artist as Traveller. Recent projects include multimedia workshops with disabled groups in Wiltz, Luxembourg, administration for the Vogler Spring Festival in 2005, the FUSED* South County Dublin Arts Festival and taking part in an international project to develop a memory search engine that responds to action, voice and image at the Triskel Arts Centre called Crossing Waters & Borders Down Memory Lane. She is currently working on a commission from Boomerang Theatre Company to produce a hand-printed book entitled the Book of Minds, based on stories of love gathered from patients in long term care.


Participating Agencies

M & M proyectos (Puerto Rico)

Based in San Juan, Puerto Rico since 1999, M&M proyectos is a non-profit art production conglomerate dedicated to the research, conceptualization and execution of events that focus on the interaction between artists, curators, professionals, volunteers, dilettanti and the general public. Utilizing art as a way to question and launch new challenges against existing ‘contaminated’ concepts, M&M proyectos becomes a co-conspirator of a group of Puerto Rican artists in residence; assisting in their production and disseminating their developments in national and international forums. It is run by the curators Michelle Marxuach, Francisco Rovira Rullan and the artist Chemi Rosado Seijo, who describe the organisation as a cross between an alternative art space and a laboratory.

16 Beaver Group (USA)

16 Beaver is the address of a space initiated/run by artists to create and maintain an ongoing platform for the presentation, production, and discussion of a variety of artistic/cultural/economic/political projects. It is the point of many departures/arrivals. 16 Beaver Street is located in a small office building in Lower Manhattan, where since 1999 the group has occupied the 5th floor with half a dozen studios and a communal space for meetings and exhibitions. Set up and run by artists to be financially self-supporting, the studio rents cover the shared space without the need for outside grants. The site was chosen as a deliberate point of insertion into non-art world circuits, with the surrounding neighbourhood focused on finance and tourism, housing the New York Stock Exchange, Battery Park, and the World Trade Center site.

N55 (Denmark)

In 1994 a non-commercial exhibition space and lab was initiated in Nørre Farimagsgade 55, Copenhagen from which N55 emerged. In 1996, a number of persons started living together in an apartment in Copenhagen, trying to “rebuild the city from within” using their everyday life as a platform for public events and collaborations. In 2000 FLOATING PLATFORM and N55 SPACEFRAME were constructed. N55 SPACEFRAME was a starting point for local initiatives and interventions, a workspace and living space for the group until 2004. Manuals for N55 things are published at www.N55.dk and are implemented in various situations around the world.

N55 suggests respecting conditions for description: logical relations and facts, as a basis for politics. An example of a decisive logical relation is the logical relation between persons and their rights. Persons should be treated as persons and therefore as having rights. An example of a decisive fact is that concentrations of power characterise our society. Concentrations of power do not necessarily respect person’s rights. It is decisive that persons try to find ways of existing with as small concentrations of power as possible.

General Public Agency (UK)

General Public Agency is a creative consultancy, launched on May Day 2003, which works in contexts of flux and change. Our approach is multidisciplinary and encompasses architecture, artistic practice, landscape design, community planning, environmental and creative regeneration, design and issues of active citizenship. Our work is informed by a particular curatorial methodology which creates a framework for exchange between practitioners from different disciplines and seeks to place the ideas generated from this exchange as strategic interventions within debate, policy and practice. We work with a particular understanding of places and place-making, which values existing cultural, social and environmental resources, and considers the past as well as the future in any process of change. This often involves creative mapping of local knowledge and resources before we start to develop proposals for any locality. Throughout our practise we take a broad approach to what counts as culture and as environment.

Catalyst Arts (Northern Ireland)

As an artists-run space, Catalyst invites a more flexible approach to the organisation of the gallery and its projects. Catalyst aims to establish a flexible, multipurpose centre where local and international artists can work experimentally and to provide the space and support for the presentation of one-off projects from a broad range of art activities. We provide support for recent art college graduates and younger artists by promoting studio spaces, exhibition opportunities and encouraging young artists to creatively engage with their locality. Catalyst Arts emphasises cross and interdisciplinary approaches to the making of art, it seeks to develop networks through challenging the formal structures of curation and invites a creative communication between artists.

myvillages.org (Netherlands, UK and Germany)

“The village” as an origin, location and concept is at the core of the objectives and programme of myvillages.org. myvillages.org is initiated by the artists Kathrin Böhm (D/UK), Wapke Feenstra (NL) and Antje Schiffers (D) and registered as an international non-profit cultural organisation in the Netherlands. The aim of myvillages. org is to initiate discussion and practice-based projects, which address the notion of village within contemporary cultural discourse and development. Recent and current activities include: Village Convention, in collaboration with GPA, Ditchling Museum, Ditchling, May 2005. BBBox, a travelling archive to collect and communicate case studies of socially engaged art projects in the rural environment, 2005 – ongoing.