Presented in conjunction with a major symposium InFest: International Artist Run Culture
The exhibition Para Site: Open Work offers a look at some of Para Site’s projects from the past eight years that have made this artist collective a noteworthy case in the history of artist-run spaces. It takes place in the context of an important international symposium, InFest: International Artist Run Culture
Para Site: Open Work presents an opportunity to assess the identity of Para Site, not so much as a coherent entity, but rather as a loose set of ‘open book’ strategies that have always been mindful of the position of the ‘curator-artist’, as well as the role the quotidian plays in the work of artists.
Over the past few years, with the increased interest in contemporary Asian art, Para Site has been invited as a collective to participate in different international exhibitions, such as the Venice and Gwangju biennales. This development has led them to increasingly address the challenging question of how to translate the local interests of the group in an international context.
The exhibition at Centre A is presented as an open platform in that allows visitors to participate actively in interpreting Para Site’s history. Accessible archival documents in the form of photographs, video, and a variety of texts are interspersed with works of installation art that include a coffee shop, an architectural folly, and a walk to the sea.
Purposely resisting the ‘frame’, this mode of display negates the conventional notion that meaning is communicated in an unbroken line from the artist through the work of art to the viewer. Instead Para Site: Open Work seeks to embrace a variety of readings, inviting the audience’s own interpretive strategies and experiences to create the final meaning of the art space’s social commitment. It is precisely through this critical engagement that Para Site itself becomes an open work of art.
Para Site Art Space is a non-profit art space run by independent artists with the aim of promoting the development of contemporary visual art in Hong Kong. Funded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and private donations, it seeks to establish and maintain a platform for artists and other art practitioners to realize their vision in relation to their immediate and extended communities through the production of artistic works, exhibitions and curatorial projects as well as through dialogue, critical analysis, publications, research, education, and cultural exchange.
Para Site: Open Work is presented with the support of the Home Affairs Bureau (Arts Development Fund) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. Centre A also wishes to acknowledge the support of its individual donors, private foundations, and government funding agencies, including the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and City of Vancouver Office of Cultural Affairs.
More materials are available to view on site at Para Site.
The Archive Project is financially supported by the Project Grant of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.