Portrait of Space is both an exhibition and a seminar. It brought together a group of artists, curators and theorists to participate in a ‘living’ project concerned with the politics of space. A concern that includes the frameworks through which art is made, displayed and disseminated.

Over three days, Portrait of Space inhabited the indoor and outdoor spaces of Clonlea Studios, a suburban idyll south of Dublin City. The aim was to produce a dynamic space where audiences, participants and works could meet in a communally constructive manner. Participants added to and changed the environment through installation, performance, intervention and presentation, but also through the interweaving of group discussion. The context of the venue, content of the work and modes of presentation that all fed into the debate, promoting a swing between active participation and critical engagement. The project was an open process, inviting the public to come and go, to take part in discussions, timetabled events and view the works displayed.

Portrait of Space asked how we understand and describe space; how we navigate, interrupt, produce and reproduce its multiple forms. It was an investigation into possible ways of re-negotiating the gap between object and subject, making and speaking; between artist, art work and audience. How can we evade the hierarchy of one or the other and engage in the relationship between them? How can we give space for their differences while acknowledging similarities and interdependence? Portrait of Space sought to emphasise the extent to which politics of space are implicated throughout the art making and presenting process, and the importance in re-imagining those politics for contemporary practice.

Images from the weekend can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/68019623@N08/sets/

Videos of the presentations can be found at www.youtube.com/user/GillespieTeresa/featured

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