Wednesday, 30 January 2002

CuSp Curatorial Space, Jan 30, 2002


CuSp Curatorial Space
Shop 10, Campbells Arcade, Degraves Passage Underpass  Flinders Street Station
Writer: Kate Herbert

If you think of artists' exhibition spaces as large galleries with loads of wall and floor space for enormous artworks, think again. CuSp,  a curatorial space, is a mere 1.5 by 2.5 metres.

It perches in the window of an artists' independent book and zine shop called Sticky (part of Platform Artists' Group), in the Degraves Underpass at Flinders Street Station.

CuSp is the brainchild of Alex Dalglish, an emerging Melbourne-based curator who is currently studying a Masters of Art Theory degree.

Her thesis, she says, focuses on "contemporary artists who make small models of buildings, like architectural models or doll's houses. Some of these models have sound tracks or a miniature video to provide a narrative."

A miniature curatorial space makes perfect sense in this context. She began curating the space in March 2001. Her proposal was accepted by Andrew Seward and Richard Holt  , the coordinators of Platform at Spencer Street and Platform 2 at Flinders Street.

" I had done a a curatorship course. Rather than solely relying on people to accept or reject my proposals, I wanted to have some control over my practice. I also wanted student curators to have somewhere to start on a small scale without too much pressure."

According to Dalglish, there is no shortage of student artists to take advantage of the space. Student curators, the people who are learning to conceptualise, design, place and select exhibitions, are less forthcoming.

"I do most of the curating. Artists love the space. Curators don't find it quite so inspiring. There is only one wall and one window," she says.

From Wednesday January 30, CuSp presents Diary of Persistence in the Foreground, a series of high-tech drawings printed on tracing paper and hanging from the ceiling.

They are associated with the Platform 2 exhibition in Degraves Underpass, Persistence in the Foreground by American designer, Christopher Kaltenbach  

CuSp will exhibit pinhole photographs and cameras by Richard Holt from Wednesday February 13. Dalglish approached him and suggested an interactive element for the viewer to take photos with the cardboard, home made cameras.

Previous shows have included Andrew Seward's eccentric collection of envelope linings. Ever noticed that the inside of envelopes have tiny decorative designs?

Recently, Kate Benda  from Adelaide worked with Dalglish to create a site-specific, minimalist sculpture. She framed the tiny CuSp space with skeletal, red balsa wood walls.

In future, Dalglish hopes that "more artists make site specific work that takes into account not only the size and shape of the space but also its idiosyncratic position in the Degraves Underpass."

Although Platform has funding from The City of Melbourne, CuSp has no specific funding apart from the space provided by Platform.

"Sponsors are always welcome," grins Dalglish.

CuSp Curatorial Space, Shop 10, Campbells Arcade, Degraves Passage Underpass  Flinders Street Station, Melbourne 

Until Wednesday Feb 13, Diary of Persistence in the Foreground,. From Wednesday Feb 13, Pinhole cameras.

By Kate Herbert

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