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Rosalie Schweiker at Spacex, 6 August – 13 September 2015

During August and September artist Rosalie Schweiker will be working with Spacex, Exeter’s contemporary visual arts organisation, to imagine what a future arts organisation could be.

Through a series of events and social activities for artists, gallery-goers and the wider public, she will bring to life her manifesto Some ideas for a new art institution, which sets out to reconsider the role of arts organisations and proposes ways in which they could be more involved in society.

To set the scene for contemplating these questions, Rosalie will transform spaces that were previously used as galleries into temporary living quarters, shared workspaces and places for social interaction and debate.

The artist’s manifesto states: “The new art institution is a new pattern of behaviour”. True to this statement Rosalie will facilitate events such as a public sleepover, shared meals and public speaking workshops. Local groups and individuals are invited to take part in the menu of activities and even join the Associate User Scheme and propose their own activity. In the spirit of equality and fun, the resident goldfish will be involved in all decision-making.

Rosalie says: “I’m trying to find new functions for art in society. My work is living proof that an artist can do more than just hang exhibitions. Why shouldn’t they consult on libraries, build cable cars, enable friendships, read tarot cards and do the washing up?”

Rosalie’s project happens at a crucial time for Spacex as it considers its own future as an arts institution and its role within the cultural ecology of Exeter and beyond. Supported by funding from Arts Council England, Exeter City Council, the Foyle Foundation and a wide range of partners, Spacex is re-launching its programme with a series of artist residencies and projects seeking to re-examine the way that the organisation operates.

The launch event for Some ideas for a new art institution will be a shared vegetarian meal at Spacex on Saturday 8th August from 6.30pm until late. Kathy Norris, Project Manager at Spacex says: “Everybody is welcome, whether you’ve never been to Spacex or are a regular user. Maybe you’re just curious to meet some new people? Or can’t say no to a free meal? You might even have concrete ideas on what you’d like to see at Spacex. Whatever your reasons are, whatever your age and whatever your background, we’d like to share some food with you and have a chat.” Let us know if you’d like to join us by emailing kathy@spacex.org.uk or by phoning 01392 431786 (just leave a message if we’re not in).

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