Artist Maciej Blazejewski, recent MA graduate from the Fine Art course of The Cass – Art, Architecture and Design Faculty of London Metropolitan University – has just launched his One Year Art Project; with the aim to raise money for a series of group shows and art fairs, whilst economically supporting himself in London.
ONE YEAR ART PROJECT – WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
(in a nutshell & small font: it is a digital book about a year in an artist’s life who is organising 3 group exhibitions, 2 art fairs & talks while making art full time)
BEFORE: This is what happened a few days ago:
Everyone’s asking me what’s next? What kind of job are you looking for? What do you want to do? Well – I know, I’ve always known: I want to make art! And I have a job / profession, I’m an artist for fuck sake! Now I have to make a living and survive out of this!
NOW: What is it about?
How to be an artist for a year in London (or any other big expensive city or anywhere for that matter)?
How to be a full time – no jobbing around – artist for a year here and now? And just keep making art, organising exhibitions, mini art fairs, panel talks and make a digital publication.
It could be perceived as one-year art / social experiment but it’s meant to be (& it’s going to be) humorous, funny and hilarious.
It’s an exciting social experiment? Yes? No? To be discussed!
The project will be an on-going, open system like: investigation and debate taking a very particular and concrete case of me as me as Maciej Blazejewski as me as an artist as me as a human being as me as social, political and economical agent.
No generalisations only real examples. In this case the artist is the material.
In this case the artist is the material. His life is the material. One year of his life is the material. The time spanning a year in the artist’s life is the material.
Although it’s not self-portrait, it’s not an auto-biography, it’s a real person living in one of the world’s art capitals, here and now and it reflects the now, the society, creativity and among many different things resourcefulness as creativity but also how it correlates and influences creativity.
The paradigms are shifting. Post-capitalism fluctuations are pervading; ever-changing rules fail to apply and old rules no longer apply.
This project is not about the impossibility but the contrary. It’s about things changing but happening and how to make them happen anyway but also creating happening for people to meet & just talk & see what can happen.
Please note that this project is not meant to be placed within socially and politically engaged art practices.
This project is not a critique of certain systems – it’s a closer look and an inspection into application of the systems on an individual and vice versa.
It is about one particular case that might have, or might not have similarities with some other cases…
One year, actually the 1st year in a life of an artist who’s a fresh post-graduate from an MA – from not that well-known a university, white male in early forties trying to have a 2nd or actually the 1st proper career in his life.
As not much happened due to my MA show (e.g. being invited to any exhibitions but on the other hand what was really meant to happen? a fucking miracle?), I have decided to take things into my own hands. I will organise group shows as many before me and around me and after me.
Here is what I want to do:
Throughout one calendar year starting on the 1st of November 2015 I’m going to organise 3 pop up GROUP EXHIBITIONS and 2 pop up MINI ART FAIRS, each of them followed by TALKS & PANEL DISCUSSIONS.
Please note that I pre-secured the space for the exhibitions already! It should be free. Thank you Zoe!
The project and its peripheries will be recorded / reflected through my artistic practice comprising making video/moving image works, drawing and sculpture/installation but also will end up as a DIGITAL BOOK (pdf publication) containing some sort of the following documentation: journal, report, art, artworks, texts, interviews, profiles of people involved, etc.
- 1st exhibition early December 2015: AGE TRANSFORMERS: artists 40+ who are just starting or still starting or still haven’t made it, etc. + panel discussion about age, 2nd chances, 2nd career and how successful or unsuccessful they are / can be and age discrimination etc.
- 2nd exhibition DRAWING in a very metaphorical & broad sense spanning all mediums + panel discussion; why drawing? Because drawing helps me think and is vital to my practice and it’s a year in my life that we’re talking about here;
- 3rd exhibition VIDEO, DIGITAL & SOUND artworks + panel discussion; yet again why video? Because making moving images feels close to me & that’s what I do & how I present my views quite often;
- 1st MINI ART FAIR – small WORKS ON PAPER + panel discussion; why small works on paper? Because they might sell well & I want artists to earn a living from their art;
- 2nd MINI ART FAIR – VIDEO/DIGITAL/SOUND artworks works only + panel discussion; why? Because I reckon they’ll be very difficult to sell, as they are not that tangible & easy! It’ll cook up a one hot discussion I hope.
That is why I want to raise/generate £18,000 – THROUGH SELLING MY ARTWORKS (DRAWINGS & VIDEOS) ON MY WEBSITE – in order to cover the cost of my work/salary (& living? Yes – that sounds shocking but at the end of the day to do this job that I’m creating for myself but also indirectly for others – I need to pay my rent, bills & eat something; and believe me I’ll end up working below the minimum wage as I don’t work 8 hours per day – I work all the time – you don’t switch off your creativity – do you? Especially if you work on an exciting art project like this one) and will give me time and resources to organise and promote the above 3 exhibitions, 2 mini art fairs, make art, document it all and make the DIGITAL BOOK.
The cost of the project is based on a rather low estimation of the cost of living & working for a year in London (at least in the case of London):
The total sum is £17,280 but it needs to include various fees for the handling of the transactions and all the postage, shipping fees and packaging. Through my calculations it all comes easily to £18,000. Also my initial idea & intent was to try to raise the funds for this project through one of the crowdfunding sites (and that is also why the items in the shop are in “packets/deals” – kind of organised like “rewards”) – alas I’ve realised that instead of trying to raise around £18,000, I would have to go for at least £20,000 – all this because of the different fees and “commissions” those sites take – well – I understand – they need to make a living too, don’t they?
After the end of the 1 year project everyone gets a DIGITAL BOOK (pdf version): journal/documentation & (depending on your involvement into the project – help me out people – I’m selling my art here!) – hopefully much more – maybe even a printed book apart from the digital one.
Foremost it is an ART PROJECT that’s why I want EVERYONE to GET/RECEIVE an ARTWORK whether in a form of a postcard (with an original and unique hand DRAWING), or an A4 drawing or a booklet of drawings or a VIDEO artwork. All the booklets of drawings and video works are coming from my MA show.
NOW YOU HAVE TO GO TO MY SHOP (link to: http://maciejblazejewski.com/shop.php) & HAVE A LOOK & PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THROUGH BUYING ONE OF THE ART PACKAGES/DEALS-WHATEVER WE CALL THEM – YOU’RE CONTRIBUTING TO AN AMAZING ART PROJECT BUT ALSO – TO THE ART COMMUNITY & THE VARIOUS MARKETS & FUCK KNOWS WHAT ELSE HA! & TO THE HILARIOUS & INSPIRING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT ART & THE HUMAN EXISTENCE!
Also on my website you’ll be able to see the regular updates / documentation / notes about the project & its developments.
Just a few random issues that are already there or will show up very quickly:
How much money I’ve spent already on art education & being an artist although I haven’t earned a penny yet from being an artist.
What are the chances / probability of me / of anyone succeeding now after being 40?
What’s the reality of being an artist in the real world in contrast of showing you what’s happening in artists mind?
Moving from self-inspection as a human being and an artist to examining the other human beings in contact with me – or the correlation.
The artists rat race?
The political implications of the project?
They tell you take chances, be yourself, 5 things that people regret on the deathbed and then what? What are we really thinking about this mind washing pseudo new age crap?
How many exhibitions will I organise in the end, what will they bring? How will they ripple? Will they bring any other exhibitions? Any connections? Money?
Advertise the project!!! Involve as many people as you can! Btw, how much is the cheapest advertising in Frieze magazine art review?
Why group exhibitions – context of others: their backgrounds/expectations/age etc.
How the social side of the project / experiment will ripple through my practice?
Is it a suicidal project? Is it too much? Is it over before it begins?
Is it against the rules of the “art establishment”?
Am I touching upon and talking about some sort of taboos in here?
Will – due to this project – my career as an artist be over before it evens begin?