Antony Hudek's presentation at Artist Placement
00:00 Introduction to the Caveat project and the invited speakers by Ronny Heiremans. 05:00Introduction Antony Hudek by Ronny Heiremans
06:41 Antony Hudek: My experience with APG is entirely centred on the exhibition that took place at Raven Row. I kept encountering references to the APG. What was APG? I use the past tense. The APG belongs to its time and its many reincarnations encountered forms of resistance. Initiated by Barbara Stevini in 1965 and co-founded with husband John Latham. We can put the braket of activity in 1985. Although John Latam had established practice as painter, the work was very performative at its root. APG had a standard contract: 'Open Brief' > fundamental and radical position. Aritst would come and observe, but there was no end result to be stipulated.Theory and actual placements were quite different. Context was half the work. Draft of placement constitution (only exists in draft form): Phase 1: feasibility study > assess viability of the placement, most artists didn't get past that stage. Already in that stage, there was a fee stipulated. Phase 2: placement APG is a transactor, this could lead to problematic situations. Barbara is very much active and alive, refrasing the mission of APG. APG was at first an economic industrial proposition. Even though the artist's contribution remained very much unsaid. Antony shows one of the first definitions of APG by Barbara Latham &'co-founder' Joan Hills. The latter quickly left APG.
13:36"If the artist has any value to the society at all, he must be of economic value, even if it be a matter of a considerable time lag before there is a development on his effect." APG was playing into corporate bottomlines, while mocking about with it, postponing at infinitum. Many of the artist died or went away, Barbara is kind of the continuing thread and reformulated the APG along the way.
14:46 This is an interesting version from the eighties (From 'Artist Placement Defined'): "APG is a means of generating change through the media of art, rather than through verbal proceedings only, in the context of organisation. Since 1968, it has opened structures which seek to exclude them [....]" How were placements organised? Barbara would somehow address a company with potential artists in mind. Artist would often place themselves and either go there as an APG artist or label it as an APG placement after the fact. Hardly a unified, codified process, but invented as they went along.
16:19 Shows example of one of the thousands of letters, in this case a refusal kindly thanking for proposal. Barbara was the one actually writing these letters, did the hard labour of contacting the companies.
17:17 How was APG funded? APG was funded through: commissions from each placement, through host organisations and the Arts Council. Latham ended up suing the council for stealing the idea of the placement as they came up with a sort of placement programme.
18:03 Presents a list of the placements: - 1966-1971/72: industrial placements - 1971: In-Between, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf - 1972-1978: government placements ("APG adrift"): government placements in theory took over, but it was a bit more complex than that - 1978: Whitechapel retrospective) - 1978/79 - c.1984: APG starts to see itself in history and starts declining, active in educational sector and on European scale
19:44 How is APG difficult from today's perspective? Neither individual, nor collective. Initiated by women, designated as "wifes of artists". It was only in the late '70 that Barbare declared herself an artist
Early wording of APG was Barbara's, John Latham infuence started much later. Outputs were manyfold.
21:25 It really has to be considered as a kind of counter-conceptual proposition. It offered something else.
We didn't know what to show, we didn't know where the work started or ended.
Ideological indeterminacy: hovering between 'left' & 'right'. Mimicry, logo appropriation. Masquarading what it wanted to inhabit and take over from the inside.
23:22 Basically APG, when we first met it in the early 2010's, was a John Latham spin-off. Barbara suddenly got recognised after Latham's death. On the archives and spinning a tale around APG. Shows one of the founding documents.
25:18 Reads text by Stuart Brisley
25:55 Shows image of video by Barbara they showed at Raven Row: "I am an archive".
26:16 Some art historical markers between '65 and '71/'72 APG took advantrage of a lapse between hegemonic discourses and from '72 the conceptual model of art making silenced the potential in it. John Latham was one of the few English artists following the American scene. Realised they could be working within Industry, instead of without it. On beginning of minimalism and it's relation to APG: the artist didn't have to make it, but could instruct a labourer to make the work. About experiments in art and technology; the Pepsi pavillion; Hans Haacke's cubes, which could be read in two different ways; connections with EAT;...
31:15 The John Latham that went in to history is the other John Latham who came out of performance. Sense in APG that they had to look into other practices, look elsewhere. Joseph Beuys was an answer to many of their questions, they started following his practice closely.
32:05 Moment in APG story when they almost made it to Documenta 5, one of the artist, John Dugger did with a pavilion outside.
32:38 Illustrating 'first' APG placement : Jeffrey Shaw at Brighton Festival.. If anything, influenced by Barbara, APG facilitated the acquisition of plastics. About contact with British steel industry.
34:00 About appropriation and "The incidental position" (John Latham): where you don't actually make, but look at things with fresh eyes. About the show at Raven Row, Gareth Evans and contacts with steel. Gareth produced a number of reports with APG, which for as far as I know didn't lead to anything in the industry.
35:50 About Leonard Hessing's ICI Fibers placement, 1970. Stuart Brisley at Hille Furniture Co. and tension between object and approach. Brisley went to production site and spent time talking to the workers and described process in detail; the listening, negotiations, observed the divorce between the upper echelons of the company and the workshop floor. Activated a workshop painting machines in the colours of football teams. Most visible at the end was the ring, a collective sculpture with workers.
37:45 David Hall was negotiated into British European Airways by Barbara.
38:02 1971 was key for several reasons. Goes into two shows: Düsseldorf, where British industrials met with German industrials and APG's inclusion in the "In-Between exhibitions", with Broodthaers, Panamarenko, Robert Filliou and Gilbert & George.
40:26 About [catalogue]] at Studio International: obscure pages in between advertisements, artist statements, etc (all shown in the exhibition as the exhibition catalogue).Gareth Evans tried to stream a live sound broadcast from a steel mill in Wales in Hayward exhibition space.
41:18 Example of a post facto improvised placement: John Latham crashed on his way from Düsseldorf back to UK and exhibited remains crashed car and x-rays of his punctured lungs at Hayward. About Latham's gesture of declaring Hayward Gallery for sale and the "Delta unit" as a new notion of value. This brought up the question of the long-term benefits of APG: "how do we start quantifying?" Now seeing the artist placed as a trigger for something (ecological, ...) Antony shows 'New Concepts' defined by APG and talks about Latham's influence.
43:38 On APG adrift. Andrew Dipper was not an artist, but found himself placed on an Esso tanker. Nothing really came out of it. APG looking for itself in the high seas. John Latham created a huge pump outside of Gallery House in London, a quasi-placement with Proteus Bygging, simulating sea tides, which in its first version promptly exploded and flooded the gallery.
45:13 On George Levantis', Ocean Fleets placement: sold placement in exchange for art classes to the ship's crew. APG playing tricks on it's own radicality. On the Peterlee project of Stuart Brisley, who refuses to be present for any APG presentations nowadays, that set the model for collective archiving projects.
47:14 On Roger Coward and his video project in Birmingham.
48:00 On animal-human interaction project in Zoo.
48:26 A few important moments in later stages of the APG - John Latham: Scottish office placement, 1975 - Documenta 6 as the shift to an internationalist European perspective, APG had exhausted the English landscape. APG participated as "APG Multinationale": mimicking corporate speak. - Whitechapel show: remaking works, really made for a specific context, which lose half of their value once exhibited in this form.
51:08 On Ian Breakwell, 1978-9, artist working with scientists on the topic of dementia in a hospital context, to trigger the memory of the patients. The project was acquired by health services in UK and marketed as a tool kit for doctors.
52:02 End of the presentation. (until 54:45 RH announces rest of programme)