Primary to any understanding of the approach that GAP (global art project) has undertaken in its collaborative art practice is the principle of trust; trust in ones fellow artists; trust in the process and trust in self. Without these essential elements nothing can be created; there is no GAP.
Add openness, willingness, a spirit of adventure and a love for experimentation with an equal amount of non-attachment to the results and you have, at least, the intellectual basis of our collaborative ambitions.
Out of nascent projects beginning in 2011-12 that involved an exchange of art and non-traditional materials using the postal service as a delivery system -- (canvasses, paper fragments ( frags), fabric and found objects -- that morphed into face-to-face workshop exercises in Venice, Italy in 2014, GAP's initial core group of five international artists ( USA, JAPAN, KOREA, AUSTRALIA and ISRAEL), winnowed down from more than 500 participants in previous projects; painters, mixed-media artists, fiber artists who lived together in a 15th Century Palazzo, exhibited solo works initially, then conducted well attended workshops for a month and experienced a level of harmony completely unexpected coupled with a naturalness of communication despite language and cultural challenges that informed our collaborative works, albeit tentative at first, which blossomed into some of the pieces exhibited presently at ROOM ART GALLERY and evolved through our continuous practice in Mexico, Italy and the US during the past two years.
No list or highly articulated detailed description can replace the value of the direct experience of this collaborative process. It is akin to a musical improvisation engaged in high-energy, rapid movements; of an insect colony seemingly of one mind persuaded to follow as one body through a silent, intuitive, almost telepathic dance; a high-tension tight rope walk over the treacherous heights of ego and control exhausting both resulting in outcomes that could not exist without this exchange of openness and exploration.
A mark is made, then another and perhaps passed on to someone else; maybe the work in progress is put to the side and returned to by the initiating artist or by another during a subsequent session;
an opening exercise may involve the making of automatic marks and then passing them around after tearing them into quarters and then collaged or re-assembled the parts as a point of departure; no ownership, no accountability for the marks; no judgement for the creations which, in turn may go through any number of permutations; a warm-up that leads to team ups and an abiding sense of non-attachment;
there is the WAILING WALL, a large roll of canvas or paper on the floor or tacked to the wall that invites noodling and ad hoc team colabs; simultaneous works are developing throughout the studio without a directive except what is aesthetically pleasing and maybe only for the moment, to be washed out or layered or collaged over in time;
the WAILING WALL also serves as a respite from "being stuck", of not knowing how to complete a work and serves as a platform to re-direct those energies and return to previous work with a fresh eye having diverted doubt;
colab is indeed the building of layers in an architecture of shared immediate experience without referee, pushing limits, abilities and expectations developing patience, moderating arrogance, finding the steps in the dance, soft-shoe into the collaborative future.
GAP founder and curator : Carl Heyward
Global Art Project