A Proposal To Ask Where Does A Threshold Begin & End

Tom O'Sullivan (Photographer), Joanne Tatham (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


MIMA have commissioned myself in collaboration with Joanne Tatham to produce an artwork and associated events, working across the gallery, its collection and public programme and its site in Middlesbrough’s civic centre. The commission is timed in response to mima’s tenth anniversary, and sits within a wider curated programme that aims to reflect on the institutional model and its history. The project will continue our ongoing interest in the relationships between contemporary art practice and the contexts of its commission, looking in particular at the encounter that occurs within urban regeneration contexts. MIMA was one of the last of a millennial lottery funded regeneration projects, built to stimulate economic revitalisation. Our project positions artworks and events to establish a dialectical mechanism through which to consider the behaviours and conventions of contemporary art, and through that a wider understanding of art’s social function and value. In Middlesbrough, we’re particularly interested in the images and narratives that have fixed or attached themselves as markers of the town’s identity, in which iconic images of the transporter bridge, or Kapoor’s Temenos sculpture are pitched against (largely negative) news-based stories associated with the town.

The commission process began in March 2017, with the exhibition of a scale model, providing an oblique proposal for a publicly sited work. Funding for the realisation of this was confirmed through an ACE funded capital award (£11K), with further support worth £25K from MIMA and with Middlesbrough Council, now partners in the process, committing £10K. The large scale publicly sited work was sited in July and will remain until October. In the period leading up this work a series of photographs of other public “monuments” within the town/ region were sited in nearby buildings. These, together with a series of related texts, were used to engage and explore the context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2018


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