ROOMER’s SIGHT conducts curatorial experiments whose aim is to test new approaches in the way contemporary art is exhibited, communicated and received; new forms of co-operation with artists are simultaneously explored. Institutional methods of presenting and conveying art are questioned. As temporary ‘subtenants’ we develop an individual ‘piece’ in situ for the particular location: a hybrid of theatrical staging, performance, empirical survey, study of the milieu, exhibition, scientific documentation, art presentation and reflection. ROOMER’s SIGHT uses unidentified free spaces for curatorial experiments. We fill real and medial spaces, turn institutional gaps into places of communication or slip into niches of social interaction in order to extend them to make temporary art transfer stations. At the centre is the visualisation of social processes that play a major role in conjunction with art. This is why we are interested in actions, experiences, opinions and attitudes of people that work in the art business or make a living from it. ROOMER’s SIGHT creates investigation contexts within which we show art and at the same time observe or question recipients, curators, gallery owners, artists, culture politicians etc., in order to acquire information on their views. This can be done in writing or orally, directly or by post. In this way we generate a ‘contemporary archive’ consisting of sound media, film and photographs, original handwritten records, notes and evaluations. This ‘archive’ allows for conclusions to be drawn concerning the art of our time and how art is understood. Contrary to conventional ‘exhibitions’ we put the artwork right into the context of its contemporary interpretation. The collecting of statements on art and its presentation are linked and are mutually dependent. Experimentation for us also means initiating ‘games’. The apparent harmlessness of the ‘stage appearances’ in ROOMER’s SIGHT turns out to be a strategy in which expectations and social norms are infiltrated. We provoke situations that not only arouse a childlike and unprejudiced joy in playing along but also question the meaning of assigning roles on and particularly behind the stage of the art business. ‘Playing’ is not only a metaphor but also the acquirement of theatrical methods and theories for curatorial work. As a temporary ‘lodger’ we develop an individual ‘piece’ in situ for the respective location: a hybrid of theatrical staging, empirical research, environmental studies, art presentation, scientific documentation, mediation and reflection. Like any game, our ‘performances’ require voluntary players who are inevitably functionalised and are theoretically interchangeable. They are involved as co-authors, making visible their individual multifunctions as producers, intermediaries or recipients. Since each of our experiments concentrates on one aspect of the well-rehearsed set of rules, undermining them, annulling or deferring them, they allow all participants, i.e. the artists, the hosting institutions and us, to take a critical self-reflection. Responsibilities, wishes and (personal) premises are made visible with each individual project.
‘After the Game Is before the Game’ - Theory and Practice of an Open Exhibition, in: Manifesta Journal, No. 6, January 2006, in: MJ - Manifesta Journal, journal of contemporary curatorship, published by: Moderna galerija Ljubljana, Ljubljana, and International Foundation Manifesta, Amsterdam, editor: Viktor Misiano, No. 6, January 2006.