The RIA Artist Project Room began its 2013/14 season in September 2013 by searching for alternative ways to bring viewers and art together. The idea to invite a single artist for a whole season in order to let his or her work inspire thought, ideas, new art and discussions involving other artists, was inspired by Anthony Huberman, when he was at The Artist’s Institute at Humber College, New York. Huberman’s project was, of course, far more ambitious than RIA’s. But, like The Artist’s Institute, I think of the RIA Artist Project Room as “a hybrid between an exhibition space, an event space, and a think-tank.” It is a place where we can spend more time with art, so it can lead us “elsewhere.”
Huberman writes: “It comes out of a deep faith and trust in the fact that artworks contain ideas that have the right to live, and if you spend time with them, they become really provocative and significant triggers for a whole wide range of reflections about the nature of art and the nature of the world. Spending more time with less things is not only something that feels relevant to a university context, more so than a gallery context, say, but spending that time with specific works of art allows them to truly become triggers, and allows them to lead elsewhere, to a broader range of ideas, terms, problems, issues, or questions”.
In August 2013, when Rene and I were away for three weeks, we invited Deborah Margo to be an “artist in residence.” We suggested that she could use the whole house (except our tenant’s space) to install art work. We chose Margo because she has extensive experience creating interventions in unusual places. Her work combines different disciplines including sculpture, drawing and ephemeral installations that draw connections to the architectural and historical contexts of the public and private spaces in which they have been installed. In recent years, she has worked with the sense of taste, investigating the propensities of tangible materials that have sweet, sour or salty attributes. At RIA, Margo created surreal meetings between salt blocks, paper and other materials, placing them in some private, some common, and some unused spaces inside and outside the home. These interventions led to ongoing “tangents,” all of which have been documented in an Online Catalogue: