Co-curating my first student exhibition

528 is the result of the work of fifteen students in their second year of University. 528 is also a curatorial group and the title to a 3 day-long exhibition retracing fluctuations in time through the art object. Performance, video art, printed matter, installations, photography, and sound art convened in the space of the Heritage Gallery as an ephemeral collection of the exhibitors’ efforts.

The show is about the works as much as it about the shared struggles of the artists who made them and challenged themselves—for the very first time—in putting together an exhibition. 528 presented a selection of works created to speculate on 3 interconnected themes: Listen!, Human Machine, and Fluctuating City.

We came about with this title while pitching ideas for a concept that would connect the works of all students in our Making and Curating class. This class has always run on a Monday evening from 5 to 8 pm. These odd hours to have a class—unless you are studying part-time at an evening university. Our initial plan was to have the opening launch for the exhibition between 5 and 8 pm on a Friday. Yet, misunderstandings between the students, tutors, and gallery management happened. We postponed our opening to different hours on the following day, but we kept the title. 528 is also the name of this blog. It is where I write about my academic research, University projects, exhibition design and making work for the gallery space.

I was assigned the role of writer for the press release to the exhibition and that of supervisor of the online team management platform we used to plan the show, Trello. On Trello, I had been creating tasks as per plan, assigning those to each team member, and kept the online schedule updated.

Writing a press release is something I had done in the past (I have been working in my University's gallery for almost ten months now). But I never had to work with such a large group of exhibitors all making work on several different themes. It's like connecting dots on a page but the page is gigantic and all the figures you get don't make much sense. My aim was to write a coherent piece of writing that would tell a story. A short and convincing story that would expand on the works on show. Words that would give voice to each artist without having each of them write a sentence.

Visiting the space for the first time

Visiting the space for the first time

Planning the position of works

Planning the position of works

On the day of the install

On the day of the install

528 as installed and opened at the Heritage Gallery

528 as installed and opened at the Heritage Gallery