箭厂空间在北京和伊斯坦布尔搜罗了各种全新和二手的商品用以出售，其中包括茶杯，香料，运动鞋和手机。这个名为“移动市集”(Mobile Bazaar)的艺术项目是一个被设计成能够装在托运行李箱中的移动摊位，空间的负责人在近期往返于北京伊斯坦布尔和爱丁堡的跨国旅行中将在三个城市的不同地点销售其中的商品。在北京，我们将在箭厂空间展示 "移动市集"，并安排三天的时间在城区不同地点进行街头销售，然后将它们打包巡回到下一个目的地爱丁堡。北京的销售地点分别为：鼓楼东大街，潘家园市场和箭厂空间。
来自不同国家，拥有不同背景的三家艺术机构如何建立合作关系？三者共同关心的议题和合作领域又在哪里？潜在的分歧又会是什么？为了对这些问题以及其中细节进行探讨，箭厂空间 (北京)，PiST///艺术空间 (伊斯坦布尔) 和Collective画廊 (爱丁堡) 的负责人在伊斯坦布尔举行了为期三天的会议，共同确定了项目的合作框架。这个将持续一年的项目名为“如何一手翻转世界” （How to Turn the World by Hand），计划涵盖欧亚两大洲，将邀请来自三个不同国家的艺术家参与其中。
在此特别感谢Creative Scotland和Arthub Asia在项目实施过程中所给予的帮助。
Teacups, spices, sports shoes, and a cell phone are just a few of the items in the Mobile Bazaar, a handpicked collection of new and used objects for sale culled from Beijing and Istanbul. The Mobile Bazaar is an eclectic roving shop stall designed to fit into checked-in baggage as it accompanies the organizers of Arrow Factory to/from their latest overseas journeys. Circulating between three cities: Beijing, Istanbul, and Edinburgh, the project inserts an informal sales stand into different locations throughout each city. Beijing’s Mobile Bazaar will be displayed at Arrow Factory and will be roaming at different times over the course of the next three weeks to Panjiayuan Market, Gulou Dongdajie, and Arrow Factory before it gets packed up and checked onto its next destination of Edinburgh.
How to begin a collaboration that connects three different art spaces in three vastly different locations? What are the common areas of interest and points of overlap? And where do the schisms occur? Over three consecutive days in Istanbul, members of Arrow Factory (Beijing), PiST/// (Istanbul) and Collective (Edinburgh) held meetings and discussions to contemplate these very questions and more. What emerged was a strategic plan for a year-long project spanning across two continents and involving artists from three distinct regions dubbed How to Turn the World by Hand.
All three of our art spaces share a distinct common feature – each used to function as a shop or storefront before being converted into a space for contemporary art. Arrow Factory and PiST/// share further overlap since both previously functioned as a retail business in the not so distant past and are embedded in tightly knit neighborhoods with existing adjacent small businesses catering to immediate residents and passersby. By the nature of their locations, these initiatives regularly create opportunities for contemporary art practices to engage with or come into direct contact with the immediate environment and surrounding social milieu. As a result the activities that occur in PiST/// and Arrow Factory register more often as anomaly than as ‘contemporary art’ per se, thus serving to continually blur or better yet, obscure the line between art and the sphere of everyday life. Being that all three spaces previously functioned as shops—and that commercial activity is normally as seen as anathema to the world of non-profit or artist-run art spaces—it seemed especially fitting to devise a multi-layered scheme that could tap into the notion of buying and selling, trading and commerce for our collaborative project.
How to Turn the World by Hand is conceived as an exploration of the myriad meanings of the word ‘trade’ with regards to contemporary art production as it occurs in our three locales: Edinburgh, Istanbul and Beijing. The first action (effective immediately) involves a purposefully superficial alteration—Arrow Factory, Collective and PiST/// will modify their logos and exterior signage for the coming year to include the names of each other’s cities, as if to indicate that each space has opened branches or sub-offices in three different locations. This simple yet potent gesture not only makes our collaboration outwardly recognizable but does so in an instantaneous fashion, playing with the idea that such a transition from ‘locally-run’ art space to ‘global’ brand is possible with the mere addition of a few keystrokes.
Another aspect of trade that arises in our collaboration points to literal forms of exchange, namely the swapping and trading of art spaces. As an extension of our “co-branding”, our three art spaces (Arrow Factory, Collective and PiST///) will find ways to inhabit or take over each one’s respective space for a short period of time during the span of one year. In Istanbul, PiST/// handed over the keys to their space to Arrow Factory and allow them to occupy the space as they wished for a week. In April 2011 Arrow Factory will transform Collective’s Edinburgh gallery space into a shop selling imported goods from Turkey and China. Later in 2011 PiST/// will travel to Beijing to create a project in Arrow Factory, and similarly Collective will arrange for an artist to travel to Istanbul to do a short-term residency at PiST///. The swapping of art spaces is meant to enact a deeper and more spontaneous process of exchange between art spaces as well as elicit new relationships to the surrounding environments in which they are situated. It also playfully acknowledges our shared line of work, or trade, as frontsmen of independent art spaces.
As a third and final way of initiating trade, Arrow Factory kicked off the Mobile Bazaar in Istanbul by directly engaging makeshift import/export business that drifts across geographic and cultural borders, tapping into the travel patterns of the international art world community. Using the standard production budget allocation for an exhibition at Arrow Factory (¥1200RMB or $180USD), the group purchased new and used goods in Beijing, which were then transported to Istanbul for sale or exchange. The movement of goods from China to Turkey and eventually Scotland echoes the logic of traditional trade routes (such as the Silk Road) but more importantly, is in keeping with the larger migrations of peoples as they move from east to west under the contemporary conditions of globalization. This includes artists, curators and art professionals who travel around the world for biennials, projects, and sundry meetings. The theme of trade activated by Arrow Factory—initiating an informal chain of commerce by transporting goods to and from Beijing, Scotland and Turkey —is also knowingly random. The selection of products brought to Istanbul is based not upon any actual demand for such items or previous knowledge of the region, but instead on perception of lacking resources and/or an imagined interest. After selling a portion of the goods in Istanbul, Arrow Factory used the money generated to purchase items in Turkey to bring back to Beijing. The process will repeat again from Beijing to Scotland as Arrow Factory plans to sell the goods from Turkey and China in various locations around Edinburgh.
At the conclusion of the year-long project in January 2012, the members of each art space will meet again to launch a small publication documenting their collaboration and to discuss the past year’s activities with other participating members of the art world. At that moment it will be possible to review the merits of our exchange, and to revisit the successes and failures of three art spaces experimenting with How to Turn the World by Hand.
How to Turn the World by Hand is made possible in part by the support of Creative Scotland and ArtHub Asia.