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for those killed in ambush

‘There is a productive and generative force behind notions of failure, lack, error and uncertainty and the presence of these ideas are essential components not in ensuring mediocrity, but in generating questions rather then providing answers. Without the risk of failure, the possibility of error and a sense of uncertainty we run the risk of entering into closed systems that would become dogmatic. We would cease to test, explore and loose the potential to stumble across the unexpected.’ @ Robert Dingle, 2008


This group exhibition began with the ‘theoretical’ premise of failure, and a proposal to explore the concept of the 'manque' artist, under the working title of 'manque manque' - so good they named it twice.

Working with a disparate group of self-selected artist friends we began to consider what failure, in both the development of practice and in a wider career sense, might mean to us. 

From here on curatorial control passed to Rob Dingle & Tom Trevatt, two former students, then on the MA Curating programme at Goldsmiths. With their involvement  and direction the remit took a more rigorous position, and a number of other artists, some unknown to us, became involved.

In order to enable effective communication and development of ideas this was the first time we worked using social media (specifically a group blog) as a core means to share, discuss, argue about and explore our collective approaches.

'In Scanlon&Grivell’s ‘I’ll keep coming back to you’  the production and operation of the work causes the direct deficiency of the essential component (7” 45rpm vinyl). Permitting the inevitable self-destruction and the work’s ability to ‘function’, the possibility of failure becomes a self-assessed and calculated consideration of the work; a reversal in which its ability to last would be deemed unexpected. An orbit of finitude in the infinite.'


Exhibited work also included a representation of the 'write-test' Desultory Object postcard. Each time Desultory Object works are exhibited in a gallery-like context (this one was  a rail-way arch in east London), a dispensing device is made or found. In this case an old telegraph pole found lying outside the archway became the dispenser. The post-cards were stuck into the existing crevices in the wood - they weren’t very securely fixed and many fell to the ground. In this way contingent elements ‘activate’ the work in situ, preventing too much over-determination in the process of production. The idea that the work disseminates itself as a gift - or give-away to the audience - is also important.



Hold & Freight, London, 2008

manque manque shared artists' blog
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