Edinburgh surgery

“Invention is sometimes more like falling off a log than sawing one in two.”
Douglas Hofstadter

In 2007 we made collaborative works for an exhibition in Edinburgh, and as you do, had to edit the number of works we could show in the gallery. So there were completed works that were discards. In May 2012 we found two of these works lurking in a folio and instantaneously agreed that they were far better than any of the works that were actually hung for public viewing five years ago. This is not to say that our editing was haphazard or slapdash – like any proper visualholics we exhaustively discussed what would be shown and in what arrangement they would be hung. And yet we now feel that we effectively bundled the best works into a dark cupboard, locked the door, and headed for the free wine…

Between the 1st and 14th of July we will be in residence at Project!!Wakaka! in Edinburgh and wish to ask you to revive / rethink a piece of work from your past. This work could be a piece that fell just the wrong side of an edit, or at the time was viewed as an interesting failure – but nonetheless you have stubbornly held on to the piece; it has survived the periodic clear-outs that artists do to reclaim their studios and head-space. We intend to use the timeframe of our residency to hold conversations with the participating artists – for those of you resident in Edinburgh (or visiting), we’ll invite you for a meal at the !!Wakaka! space and for artists who are unable to be in the city we’ll enter into an online correspondence. The conversations will be recorded so that they may in time be published. We have no criteria for these meetings beyond a curiosity as to why an artist’s perceptions of a piece can evolve whilst the work itself, in its folio shallow grave, has remained in stasis. There is clearly something else happening here beyond issues of craft and technical skill, after all, The Hospital For Dazed Art is not about inauthentically buffing up botched art – curiously, rejecting your own work is as much an act of integrity as accepting it.

Delia Baillie
Iain Sturrock