Exploring the questions that arise from thinking and writing about art whilst living in Cornwall, we found that they related to current discussions in theoretical areas of artistic investigation; innovative curatorial models, audience participation, networks and collaboration. The Decalcomania project experiments with collaboration in curatorial practice. It aims to be an exhibition that realises itself by participation, highlighting the collective nature that relationships between individuals take in any artistic endeavour.

The title Decalcomania is a word found in Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s description of ‘rhizome’. In A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia they define decalcomania as the sixth principle of the rhizome:

…forming through continuous negotiation with its context, constantly adapting by experimentation, thus performing a non symmetrical active resistance against rigid organization and restriction.

The potential of this statement combined with an aspiration to create a non hierarchical curatorial model encouraged us to devise the project as a set of parameters for an exhibition that evolves via process rather than theme.The process, utilising our social networks, follows one of rhizomatic growth. One stem of participants invites another, choosing artists from their social circle, to form the body of an exhibition.

Decalcomania is currently coming to the end of one stage of invitations; each of us in the first stem has nominated two artists to be part of the project: Maria has invited Ana Carvalho (Portugal) and Lucy Gunning (London), who have respectively invited Tiago Pereira (Portugal) and Maile Colbert (Portugal), and Darren Norman (London) and Seung Jung Kim (SouthKorea). Laura has invited RossBirrell (Glasgow) and Matthew Hodson (Leeds); Ross has invited Dominic Hislop (Berlin) [tbc] and Sarah Tripp (Glasgow) [tbc] while Matthew has invited Adam Burton (London) and Gethin Jones (Cardiff). The art works will be selected collaboratively between the first and second stem of artists all the while accommodating the dynamics formed by the communication of all the stems of Decalcomania.

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