Artist Archive

Artist Archive, 2005-2015

– Collaboration Anne Kay & Jane Polkinghorne
Video interviews with 100 artists, 24 hours

From SITUATION catalogue, 2005

Anne Kay / Jane Polkinghorne

“Artist Archive”

The artists we interviewed between January and May 2005 form a loose network we are a part of: they are peers, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues or friends of friends. We aimed for a cross section of artists, at various levels of practice and attitudes towards making art. Of all the thousands of artists who have preceded us how many have been recognised or had their work validated? We have no idea what those artist thought about themselves. We only have the biographies of those few who have ben deemed important through history. With this series of interviews we are making our own history of a particular network of artist at a particular point in time. Our interest is in artists’ cultural positions, their thoughts on why they make art, and, with so little attention from the wider culture, how they perceive their success. Artists are rarely asked about their work.

In ten years the artists’ circumstances may have changed. Some may have received critical attention for their work; those who are fashionable at this point may have slipped out of favour; others may have stopped making art altogether. The ideas about what we are doing as artists, the words we use, the way we look and dress will have changed in ways we can’t predict at this point. Many of our contemporary ideas and conventions are imperceptible to us because of their ubiquity. Who knows what will be completely out of date or laughable in ten years time? Or perhaps in ten years nothing much will have changed. Will ‘new media’ still be new media? Will the ‘War on Terror’ still be raging? Could John Howard possibly still be Prime Minister of Australia?

Doing the interviews has put us in a privilege position. People have allowed us to video them in their most private spaces; their studios, their homes, even their bedrooms. Often the conversations continued once the camera was turned off, allowing us to talk with the artists beyond the usual chit-chat of exhibition openings. It has been fascinating for us to listen to their responses, to see where they work, to engage in an extended conversation.

Situation: Collaborations, Collectives, and Artist Networks from Sydney, Singapore, Berlin.
Curated by Russell Storer. Published by Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, 2005.

Artist Archive, 2005- 2015. Anne Kay & Jane Polkinghorne, Sydney College of the Arts Sydney. Installation view

Artist Archive,10 Year Anniversary, 2005- 2015. Anne Kay & Jane Polkinghorne, Sydney College of the Arts, installation view.