Away Weekend

introduction

Away Weekend evolved out of a commission from a-n The Artist’s Information Company as part of the year of the artist. Although there was no brief I felt that the subject of the project could be the commissioners themselves. Because of the nature of what a-n do — networking, providing information to young artists — I got interested in how they organise themselves as a company and decided to take them on a bespoke team-building weekend.


images


description

I was particularly interested in how an artist’s ideas might dovetail with those of the team builders, how similar were their activities? This project was somewhat ironic although the intended humour in the project failed because the people taking part were put through a genuinely nerve racking experience. The responsibility of the artist came under close scrutiny, not for the first time; when the art approaches the real, metaphor starts to melt too close to the fire.

The weekend consisted of traditional tasks and activities – quadbikes, archery and film-making , where I commissioned a script about the a-n staff that they then acted, and an ‘interesting lecture’ by Neil Chapman. The weekend was packed with activities and with hindsight it was a scary conjunction of being an artwork and of working with people who got really affected by it. The paintballing , which was accompanied by an Ennico Morricone soundtrack on loudspeakers, was particularly contentious. There was the issue of who was responsible for the psychological aspects of the weekend – me, the director of a-n, or the individuals? I experimented with documenting the weekend by commissioning a writer to observe and notate the entire weekend’s activities and this text was then published and distributed with a-n Magazine as a free supplement.

(If you want a copy send an email request)


details

Date

2001

Commission

‘Year of the Artist’ National Media Residency with [a-n] The Artists’ Information Company, Newcastle.

Media

Live event
[a-n-n-a] magazine supplement
Video
Photographs

Funders

Northern Arts (Arts Council England)
The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.

Links


credits

Production, Photography, Design and Editing

Anna Best

[a-n]

Helen Barwick
Catherine Bertola
Fran Bird
Matthew Blackman
Sarah Burn
Louise Coysh
Clare Edwards
Rebecca Farley
Susan Jones
Gillian Nicol
Richard Padwick
Stephen Palmer
Maureen Royal

Documentary Writing and Editing

Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre

Lecture and Writing

Neil Chapman

Yoga Session

EMCO

Team Building

Reivers Development and Ultraventure:

Dave Routledge
Libby Vere
Paul Hodgson
Doug Finlayson

Design For Print

Ripe Design Consultancy

Proof Reading

Hannah Firth

Print

Scottish Country Press

Special Thanks:

B+B:Sarah Carrington and Sophie Hope
Bellingham Taxis
David Butler
Libby and Edward Charlton
Louise Coysh
Julie Crawshaw
Em Druiff
Paul Hodgson
Susan Jones
Vicki Lewis
Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre
Gillian Nicol
The Riverdale Hotel
Adam Sutherland
Lucy Wilson