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workfortheeyetodo

Back to fast and loose (my dead gallery)

 

 

 

Workfortheeyetodo was a book-space organised by Simon Cutts, Maggie Smith and Erica Van Horn. It functioned as a bookshop for its selected material, as the prime and most vital means of distribution, and as a reference place for the activity surrounding the book as a medium. At the time this seemed to emanate from the visual arts, but it is closely related to other fields of art, music and literature. As such it provides a resource for use. Integral to this expanding practice, workfortheeyetodo also arranged displays and exhibitions together with readings, to examine and present other collections of material and antecedents, to publicise new books in the field, and to itemise new additions and donations for reference.

Workfortheeyetodo was begun by Coracle in 1992 and sustains itself on a near shoe-string budget for economy of purpose. From previous experience it would seem that bookshops of this nature can at best barely hope to cover costs, and certainly could not present display material needing research and careful accumulation. Its commercial functioning is perhaps only a model of distribution rather than a finite accomplishment.

The mythology of artist-run spaces is now part of the general sentimentality of our time for another. As alternative has become establishment, as underground has become fringe, this has often been the result of a lack of historical understanding in favour of mere media citation. With the arrival of the curator-property speculator we have entered a new phase, and when there is little consideration of immediate history, art activity is relegated to the blandness of football. A commodification of art as business and succes, no amount of faddish conceptualism can justify. On the one hand we have never been so surrounded by career anarchists, predicated on the radical-chic of Modernism, the poet-maudit. On the other, what can it mean to be an artist-run space when the Lisson Gallery is also one?

Simon Cutts

 

 

workfortheeyetodo 152 Narrow Street, London E14 1993

workfortheeyetodo when at 152 Narrow Street, London E14 1993