Crack in the Road

London is getting exciting.

The art world is preparing itself for another cohort of fantastic talents to shift their attentions from hanging their degree shows to what the big bad world has to offer them, anyway many a long night of free booze and cultural chit chat are sure to follow.

Kicking it off this week are The Institute of Jamais Vu. They welcome French artist Fabrice Azzolin for a weeklong residency running from today until May 24th at their fantastic space in Manor House, North London. The week will also include public workshops and crits with a Private View on Wednesday 22nd.

During their last minute preparations I managed to chat to them about their program and what the next week will involve.

DC: So firstly, why Jamais Vu?

IJV: Jamais Vu is the opposite of Deja Vu. It’s the idea of being surprised by the newness of something that had become familiar. We have banded together to facilitate art, as has been done since time immemorial, yet by doing this in a different era what we do will inevitably be new.

DC: For those that don’t know about IJV can you briefly explain why and how it formed?

IJV: The Institute came into being as an idea and a project in late 2010, during our first year of BA. It had a physical space by July 2011.

We come from all over England, some of us met on Foundation courses, some met through University. Our shared interest in setting up a space brought us together, and collectively our skills and experiences in past projects made this possible.

We don’t have a manifesto, the exhibitions and publications that we present show our collective interests but aren’t meant to be defined by any thematic continuity or intended as markers of our future interests. We show artists we respect and believe are worth showing.

DC: Can you briefly outline The Institutes past events?

IJV: We are nearing the end of our second season; the bulk of each has generally consisted of monthly shows. We have held 13 exhibitions, 3 talks and are about to host our first group residency.

More recently we have introduced performance events into our season, for example our previous show ‘Errors Hit Orient‘ involved the space hosting a musical performance by the artists Chris Evans and Will Holder.

We also took part in the not-for-profit art fair Co-Lab, part of Art Platform Los Angeles in 2012. Through this we were able to form relationships with similar artist-run spaces around the world and also experience and understand the commercial aspects of the art world from within. The protean nature of our Institution helps us develop a more expansive discussion on art and its environments.

DC: How did the residency with Azzolin come about?

IJV: One of us, Emilie Spark-Guillaume, met Fabrice while taking a performative research course he was teaching in Nantes early last year. He was particularly interested in the IJV, and email contact was kept throughout the year in which ideas of potential projects he could present here were discussed. Keen to take advantage of his idiosyncratic teaching methods, a discursive week of group activity lead by Fabrice was decided upon. He is bringing a group of his current and past students from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Nantes.

With a program of workshops and events throughout the week what are you hoping to come of this? What is taking place?

Throughout the residency, planned events include a performance workshop day and group crits, we hope to continue our exploration into art education which we developed during our recent series of talks. These featured tutors, students and a roundtable discussion on alternative forms of art education. This series will shortly be available on our website. The Institute of Jamais Vu itself is formed of students. Collectively we are based at Goldsmiths, Central Saint Martins, Camberwell, Middlesex, Wimbledon, Kingston, Chelsea and The School of the Damned.

DC: Finally, what is next for IJV?

IJV: We are planning our 3rd season of shows and events, an August 2013 artist exchange show with Berlin’s Infernoesque Gallery and are returning to LA in early 2014 to work with some of the artist spaces we met at Co-Lab.

Sign up to the workshops and find out more about the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Nantes residency and what’s happening this week here!

More information on The Institute of Jamais Vu click here! Or give them a call on 02083504130.

Below are pictures from the exhibition Dangerous Mezzanines which opened at The Institute of Jamais Vu back in Feburary 2012 by the artist John Henry Newton.


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