Saw some amazing art in and around Brussels including a beautiful exhibition in a church by painter and philosopher Caroline Chariot-Dayez. ‘Contrary to any demiurgic attitude, the concern for realism is the expression of fascination and, more generally, of the ecstatic state of mind peculiar to contemplation. Beauty is ever present; it takes possession of whoever discovers it. Realism is possession.’

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Corridor Gallery, University of Leeds
6th – 18th March 2009
Curated by Louise Atkinson
(sub)Missive was the culmination of a mail art project in which artists from the UK, Europe, US, Canada and Australia each collaborated with an artist partner to create a new book work. Using the social networking forum as a platform for collaboration, artists investigated the dissemination of ideas with particular reference to (mis)communication and power relations.

Taking the hierarchical construct as a brief, each participant devised a set of instructions ranging from the single word to the diagrammatic, and distributed them for their collaborative partner to make work from. The results of this experiment were displayed as part of the 12th International Contemporary Artists Book Fair from Friday 6th till Wednesday 18th March 2009 @ Corridor Gallery, School Of Design, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT.

This was an interesting way to work, but possibly created more questions than it answered. The link between mail art and social media was a new development for me, and definitely one that I would be interested in pursuing in future.
Something else that I found peculiar was the sense of ownership that the ‘makers’ had over the work they had created, despite the brief having been set by their collaborator. This brought the idea of intellectual property in question, and made me consider how I could address that in other exhibitions. For a full list of artists and images, visit

Image Credit: Laura Frame, Bag of Bones, Bag, bones, ribbon, 2009