New Con.Text 3 / 7 October 2012
I do have Con.Text conversations in other places; the main focus is Salisbury Arts Centre, but I cannot resist adding words from other venues. Words gathered in a preparatory stage of the project (some of them from Unlimited at the Southbank Centre) help me to find the universal in the individual and also help maintain the anonymity of those who relax into the conversation only after reassurances that they will remain anonymous.
These blogs are not reviews of work, and where work is mentioned, the reflected conversation will not necessarily belong with it or it's creator.
I listen. I observe with every means at my disposal: I have conversations that feel like chatting with long lost friends; I have conversations that take me way out of my comfort zone and conversations that simply amaze me. Occasionally there are conversations where people assume that access only relates to disability.
Most of the conversations remain focused on the project; rarely they wander completely off to fulfil other needs and, totally exceptionally, they take scary turns that see me backing away in alarm or confusion.
More than once I have begun a conversation with a visitor who turns out to be artist in another context; someone who has come to look, experience or participate, but is happiest conversing from their creative perspective.
Conversations with artists centre on how they see people accessing their work, relating to it, allowing it into their space, carrying something of it into their future.
Access, yeah, no, I mean, of course
it's good if a place is accessible.
Not something I worry about, I mean
I don't need to. I don't make my work
for disabled people; I'm not saying
I don't want them to see it, but
I wonder how much they get out of it.
The brief look of tangled confusion
faded to a confident smile as he
reassured himself that I was
just asking the questions. It was
just a conversation, yeah? No.