Please respond to this open call opportunity for funding the following project:
Relevance Recovery Unit – An Exhibition Proposal
Stanley Silverdale, applying on behalf of ‘The Cast-Off Club’ – £4500 funding application for cultural operation to take place April 2020.
Brief: The Relevance Recovery Unit is a participatory art exhibition that invites visitors to present obscure artefacts from their personal collections of subcultural ephemera. A changing set of 25 objects will be selected for display with explanatory texts. The relevance of visitor contributions to the exhibition will be evaluated by The Cast-Off Club.
RECENT RELEVANT WORK
The Cast-Off Club is a collective that has been meeting fortnightly for the past 6 months, operating as an informal research circle/support group for people who have known the joy of being in a creative community. The club hosts discussions on ‘the interrelationship between personal and social narratives of disappointment’ in a show-and-tell format.
Frequently asked discussion questions are: Why is this object of personal interest? Who was involved in making it? What are they doing now? Does the object help us understand society? Why/Why not?
All members of The Cast-Off Club have experienced ‘self-perceived failure to upkeep previously healthy involvement in a relevant subculture’. As such, the club offers a supportive social dynamic for talking about the (possibly) worthless objects and ideas that we (may have) wasted the best years of our lives on. It is a therapeutic oasis.
The Relevance Recovery Unit exhibition will focus on themes of obsolescence, trends and fads, hype, resurrection, and resuscitation. These issues will be explored and questioned through presenting 25 objects on value-enriching plinths.
The plinths will be set in beds of quicksand. And this sand will be mixed at varying densities relative to the perceived cultural shelf-life of the objects that they each hold. As these plinths sink, however, the items themselves will remain suspended at height by nylon wires extending from the ceiling, thus conjuring the appearance of their having escaped a descent into grainy obscurity.
Visitors will submit their own cultural artefacts to receive similar treatment within the exhibit, and video interviews with the most exceptional participants will be conducted to produce an infotainment film about how ‘unrealistic’ aspirations manifest as impediments to social success.
A luxurious leather-bound 300-page brochure is to accompany the show. The landmark publication, titled ‘Re-possiblizing the Obsolete’, will feature gold-leaf embossed diagrams and tips on how to emulate The Cast-Off Club’s enormous potential.
Upon completion of interview, our most impressive gallery-goers will be offered rank, insignia, and sense of belonging. Such decorated attendees will be taught the basic movements of our distinctive exhibitors’ saunter.
We will keep in contact with our favourite participants through WhatsApp, Slack, Facebook, Trello, Google Sheets, email, text, phone, voicemail, fax where possible, and home visits as appropriate (e.g. to install fax machine).
To ensure thorough public engagement there will a quiz about the exhibition, which visitors must pass if they wish to retrieve their cloakroom items. Extraordinary performances will result in winning other people’s cloakroom items.
WHO IS INVOLVED
Since our collective identity is defined by a lack of validation, we call upon the application assessors to look upon our relative absence of prior achievement not as a potential liability, but to see it for what it is: a desirable quality.
HOW THIS WILL DEVELOP THE CAST-OFF CLUB
Hosting this exhibition will give The Cast-Off Club a raised profile, allowing us to refine any future participant evaluation/selection processes. The allocation of funding to the primary applicant (Stanley Silverdale) will boost The Cast-Off’s self-esteem and reinforce The Club’s undemocratic hierarchical structure (which is part of the artwork). Ultimately, the Relevance Recovery Unit exhibition will give our members something meaningful to live for.
BUILDING AUDIENCES AND MARKETING
Much of our budget will be allocated to building a special leaflet launching device (R&D ~£3,500) which will be used to distribute promotional material into busy public spaces. We will supplement this marketing activity with a series of sponsored litter picks.
We will definitely need to spend some money on web content. In 2018, 90% of UK adults were recent internet users, and whilst such an unusually high trend seems unlikely to hold, it makes sense that we invest a correlating 90% of our marketing budget in online promotion. However, we have decided to take a gamble on the leaflet launcher.
As valuable members of the community, we hope that local residents will be visible at our exhibition. We will encourage their presence by displaying a tastefully modest ‘welcome’ sign in one of the windows.
We will rent an ex-industrial space in Catford for two weeks, at a cost of about £500. The preparation will mainly involve excavating parts of the floor in order to provide adequate quicksand chambers.
The as yet unaccounted for £500 will be spent on costumes for members of The Cast-Off Club, consisting of: silver robe, those massive goth boots, lace vest, and bucket hat.
We are looking into developing a partnership with the UK military charity that has already pledged 12 crates of F16 Energy Supplement Drink for the opening party. We hope to gain more gratuities from them in return for branding and an unobtrusive army recruitment table at the exhibition.
We should not let fear hold us back. Of course, there are such things in life as regrets, but if constantly preparing for unlikely accidents prevents us from making the most of our precious time here, then that would that not also be a cause for regret? At the end of the day, you just don’t know. So we’ve got to strike a balance with it, really.
Having looked into quicksand safety, we seem alright, as most qs related deaths aren’t from drowning, but rather from exposure after getting trapped. Seeing as the venue has central heating, we should encounter no problems here.
See promotional video here:
Stanley Talks Through Some Ephemera