ELECTRA works collaboratively with a range of partners to curate, commission and produce ambitious projects across all areas of contemporary art. We are committed to seeking new audiences for the work by cross-contextualising: actively creating new and unusual platforms for the work we commission and exposing the work to audiences who would not normally encounter it. Equally, we actively seek to link artists from diverse artforms through the creation of new, often collaborative projects, creating channels for production that often lead to new directions in the artists's work.
As a nomadic agency with no physical exhibition space ELECTRA is able to remain flexible and approach each project individually, with a fresh outlook, seeking the most appropriate processes, sites and partners to realise it.
Whilst the outcomes may take a variety of forms - a performance, group exhibition or a screening programme – the mission to create high quality new work, push the limits of artists’ previous production and introduce new audiences to the work, remains central to ELECTRA's activity.
ELECTRA maintains a curatorial interest in a number of areas which are described below. These curatorial strands are shifting and flexible investigations that form the basis of our projects.
ELECTRA's projects often bring together a number of artists into new partnerships or enable artists to produce collaborative work. Given our proficiency across diverse disciplines, we have in the past worked with artists to devise projects either outside of their usual area of operation, or brought new expertise to an existing project. Such projects have included commissioning a musician, film maker and artist to jointly create a live performance/film piece (Perfect Partner), and more recently working with a film maker (Daria Martin) to identify composers/performers and bring them on board (Zeena Parkins and Maja Ratkje on different films). Our commitment to fostering collaborative practice continues and we go on to build new networks between artists and engage in a range of creative collaborations.
During 2008/09 one of our major projects is Momentum, the Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, which is being co-curated by ELECTRA's Lina Dzuverovic (together with Stina Høgkvist). As a result, during this period we are focusing on researching the work of artists from the Nordic region (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland).
Rules, Instructions, Contracts and Performance
in the contexts of contemporary art and the law
During 2008 - 2010 a major project ELECTRA is producing is 'Offer & Exchange: Sites of Negotiation in Contemporary Art'. This interdisciplinary exhibition explores the use of rules and instructions in relation to processes of exchange in both art and law. The exhibition is co-curated by Daniel McClean (a lawyer specialising in art law, and curator) and Lisa Rosendahl (a curator and writer), and will take the form of a groundbreaking series of contemporary art commissions by six high profile international artists. This shall be taking place over the course of one year, within different key 'sites' in London in which contemporary art is produced, exhibited, sold, collected and publicised.
The commissions are site-specific. 'Site' in this context is approached not only as a physical realm, but as a set of specific relations governing the processes of negotiation involved in art production, mediation and consumption. The project sets out to address these different sets of relations while critically examining and re-thinking current strategies of display.
The curatorial starting point is to bring together artistic practices that explore the use of rules, instructions, contracts and performance in the contexts of contemporary art and the law. Each project will be contained in a legally binding contract that embodies a process of negotiation between the artists and the different sites and reflects on the specific aesthetic, social, economic and legal relations that govern the creation and dissemination of art in each site.
Questions of Gender and Difference
& Investigating Participation
Active investigation into, and awareness of, gender roles and other questions of inclusion in contemporary art production is at the core of ELECTRA's work. Some of our exhibitions have specifically addressed and sought to interrogate the formation of historical canons, such as the Her Noise group exhibition, curated and produced by ELECTRA at South London Gallery, 2005. Whilst these questions may not be overtly addressed in each of ELECTRA's projects, we understand them as a constantly operating analysis that inherently informs all of our practice.
Much of ELECTRA's work engages with the politics of participation and inclusion in contemporary art. The structure of many of our projects seeks to find ways enable those taking part to become fully engaged in the project.
The Arts Of Sound
Since its inception ELECTRA has focused on initiating and enabling the creation and presentation of sound based practice across museums, galleries and other sites within the contemporary art landscape. Our interest remains in cross-contextualising - exposing the work to new audiences by placing it in spaces that do not normally engage with this type of practice, in addition to retaining and fostering the artist's native communities. Our core mission here is to shift the perspective of how sound based work is experienced, to challenge disciplinary hierarchies and advocate a more profound engagement with sound based work by museums and institutions.