collaborative artists, ATOI, Amy Thomas and Oliver Irvine
About my artwork
ATOI (Amy Thomas & Oliver Irvine) question the very gallery structure itself by asking it to stage events that threaten its physical integrity, literally punching through its walls as a metaphoric attack on its organising principles. The pair constructed an art-fair booth for their invented Cull Gallery – a name that suggests a selective reduction of the power of the gallery system – and invited two cage fighters to use the venue for a bout. The physical marks and, in some places, structural damage caused by the barely regulated violence (the bout was in fact staged illegally without a licence) provided an index of the extremes of human force that the space had played host to and threw open to question the supposedly neutral, intellectually contemplative frame that the traditional white cube space is intended to provide. Previous works have broached similar territory, seeing the pair operating art machines where visitors have been invited to make small sculptures to be incorporated into a grand collaborative artwork but where, in fact, the machine’s ultimate goal was to crush up or otherwise dump these offerings, the cruel gods of art showing that the nature of the creative act itself remains contested.
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