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Collected Domestic Conceptualism / Andy Holden

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An exhibition of small works, studies, models, paintings and drawings by Andy Holden, set in a temporary cardboard museum in Worcester.

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Collected Domestic Conceptualism places together for the first time various small works, studies, models, paintings and drawings by Andy Holden, set in a temporary, cardboard museum, assembled across a three-storey town house in the centre of Worcester. On mass the feeling is somewhere between the opening up of Holden’s storage, with the works displayed on cardboard packing boxes, and an idiosyncratic remaking of the Soane Museum. Holden’s has become known for a number of dense bodies of work which often present their own fully realised theory or propositions: Thingly Time (c.2011), Maximum Irony! Maximum Sincerity (2013), and that the world should be understood as a cartoon (Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, 2016), or provide performative re-workings of existing theories through a collision of media, such as Natural Selection (2017) or Structure of Feeling (2020).

In Collected Domestic Conceptualism we see the attempt to group small pieces which are related to these larger projects with numerous unseen and orphaned works from uncompleted projects, or small works unrelated to any specific exhibition, under the new umbrella term of Domestic Conceptualism. This term is used to point both to a scale of work as well as an ambition for how the work should be understood, and as a way of making connection between these pre-existing and previously delineated bodies of work. ‘Conceptualism’ here is used to invoke the idea of the universal, with domestic alluding to the materials that are used throughout, as well as the scale of the models and drawings and many of the themes found in the various bodies of work. Nests, make-up, painted bowls, cartoon’s from childhood, ceramic cats, eggs, wallpaper, friendship, aphorisms, souvenir’s, google eyes, reworked charity shop paintings, knitted objects, Bitmoji imagery, postcards, and solidified accretions of builders plaster and household paint all in different ways set up a dialectical motion between house and universe.

As with the previous exhibitions the attempt to build a framework around how the work should be understood becomes part of the work itself. Here many of the works are freed from their previous dyadic narrative frameworks to be looked at afresh as part of a longer, ongoing, and broader practice. The exhibition has been assembled to primarily be visited remotely. The five rooms and adjoining corridors will all be 3D scanned in detail and available to view online. The exhibition has been conceived that the digital render should be the primary means of experiencing the collection of works. The house will be open on Saturdays and by appointment, but many of the rooms can only be viewed through the doorway.

The exhibition was conceived to coincide with the publishing of Collected Free Labour - Blog Interviews 2010-2020, published by Slimvolume. The book, which includes an essay by Andrew Hunt, The Critic as Artist as Cartoon, brings together ten years of online interviews by Holden, collaged together to make one long, non-linear conversation in which he attempts in his own words about intentions and motivations for his work as a whole. The book, which is intercut with a new interview by Tyler Woolcott in which he asks Holden to reflect on comments made in these prior interviews, looks at the responsibility of artists to control the meaning of their own work, and to frame these interviews as themselves part of the work.

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Organiser Pitt Studio

Organiser of Collected Domestic Conceptualism / Andy Holden

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