Conversation with BUNDLED A•PART
Friday, April 29th, 2011 » See more posts from From the Curatorial Fellows, Interviews
Curatorial fellow Jeannette Tremblay sat down with collaborative pairs Marissa Benedict and Luis Palacios (aka GRAFT) and Nicole Seisler and Liene Bosquê — who, as a foursome, make up the MFA exhibition group BUNDLED A•PART — to talk about their projects, their practices, and what happens when their time at SAIC comes to an end.
Here’s a snippet of the conversation:
JT: Nicole and Liene, you collaborate with publics and with spaces, and Marissa and Luis, you collaborate with environments and your environments collaborate, as well, with other mechanisms or structures. Can you talk about how that type of collaboration functions in your work?
MB: We’ve definitely come to a joint collaboration between ourselves but we force these living organisms or plants to collaborate with us — whether they choose to or not [laughs]. They seem to grow quite well so I don’t think they’re necessarily unhappy in this collaborative venture.
LP: It’s a dialogue. It’s an exchange. Both with each other and with these biological beings. They’re forced to collaborate, but at the same time, afterwards they engage — they engage the public and they engage us. So it becomes a collaboration, and in the end a very fruitful collaboration, in my mind.
MB: There is this interesting element too where with the major pieces that we’ve developed there’s maintenance or care necessary, so there’s this dialogue that we’ve been trying to develop — a kind of Mierle Laderman Ukeles way of ongoing manual maintenance. In this piece for the MFA show, we’ll be there everyday. When we’re there, we’re there to discuss with the public but when we’re not, it’s the plant that interfaces with the public. So there’s these different levels of us working with the plant, [us] working with the public, the plant working with the public and with us. And so it’s quite an interesting layered collaborative.
LB: I think for us it’s dealing with the public space. Part of the project is going to the streets and having this encounter with the pedestrians, so I think it’s also a way to invite people to collaborate with us and to participate.
NS: For us, I’m not sure if collaboration is the right word because I think it probably is more participation.
MB: With the public? The public participation?
NS: Yeah, exactly. I think there’s definitely a difference between how you guys [Luis and Marissa] collaborate and how we [Liene and I] collaborate. The way the public interfaces with us is very much for a moment. They are very much a part of the work, but I think more as a participant in that moment. And for us, that element developed with the project. As we did more walks, and people were approaching us and showing their curiosity, we really had to figure out what that element was for us. And it has become one of the most important parts of it.
Full recording coming soon.
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