Review of the exhibition 'While You Wait’, by artist collective Anachron-Gen at twenty+3 projects in Manchester.
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"The exhibition 'While you Wait' by the artists group Anachron-Gen attempted to communicate the experience of the city from the position of the visitor, that of an outsider. The group were clear that this was not about the experience of the tourist visitor, the mediated encounter with a city determined and directed by various authorities, whose guidance on the ‘places you should see’ and ‘no-go areas’ inevitably maps out only a sanitised experience of a given place. To the tourist visitor, the city remains a polite host, but one that refuses to give away too many of its secrets; it forever remains at a distance however close you think you are. Anachron-gen were more interested in the perspective of the regular visitor, the liminal experience of someone who inhabits the charged threshold of being both inside and outside of a city or system, of being within and yet also remaining without. Here, the laws of polite hosting become relaxed, and the city begins to yield, drop its guard. The regular visitor occupies the same state as an initiand or novice - they have been given partial access to the unspoken codes and customs of a place, but do not yet have the status or knowledge (or responsibility) of a full inhabitant. They operate in a space in-between one order and another – their experiences hover at the point between the familiar and the strange, as certain zones within the city become repeatedly navigated, emotionally and psychologically mapped out and inhabited. Being a visitor in a city is like having only a partial grasp of a language, where certain meanings might indeed make it across the gulf of translation in one piece, whilst others remain incomprehensible; blank signs that remain opaque, incommunicable."
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- emma cocker
- Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Associate Professor in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, Cocker's research focuses on artistic processes and practices, and the performing of ‘thinking-in-action’ emerging therein; on models of (art) practice and subjectivity that resist the pressure of a single, stable position by remaining wilfully unresolved. Her mode of working unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches. Cocker's practice involves ‘contiguous writing’ — a mode of creative-critical writing that seeks to touch upon rather than being explicitly about. Her writing has been published in Failure, 2010; Stillness in a Mobile World, 2010; Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought, 2011; Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art, 2012; Reading/Feeling (Affect), 2013; On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and as a solo collection, The Yes of the No, 2016.