My work questions how to show the ephemeral, live experiences that make up the quotidian within the fixed frame of the art institution. Further: how to preserve life, or rather the breath of ‘aliveness’.
The ‘House Projects’ (since 2001) initially focused on the honesty and truthfulness of mess over domestic order; the focus then shifted to the visitors who with the occupants discussed their relative status, bringing into play conflicting and contradictory power relations. I engaged in dialogue with museums and galleries about the static nature of collections and their inability to collect life, live art and time and created, through a hole in the ceiling, in a form of reverse collecting, a photographic collection of visiting curators’ heads.
Building on a history of feminist artists, who initially addressed their own invisibility as house workers, the project was extended to include service work.
In the spirit of an active and lively conversation, rather than a social levelling, the work aims to challenge fixed hierarchies, to produce a dynamic democracy with different points of view coming into focus.
In 2011 for the Concrete Geometries Research Cluster at the Architectural Association, an installation was designed and built to facilitate and test the relationship between architectural form and human processes. The focus moved from a relationship between visitors and inhabitants to between moving and static participation, occupations and activities.
© All artworks copyright Fran Cottell.
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