Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Interview with The Ministry of Progress

Hello there people! Its seems like forever since I've done a post, however I have been busy working away behind the scenes. No things have come together and I should have a few tasty things coming up for you. First up is an interview with an art collective I've featured before, it's my good friends over at The Ministry of Progress. These four young artist are taking on the art community with their progressive ideas and blend of art and industry. Being a bit of a sci-fi geek I love the fusion of sci-fi imagery and bold text also the colleges and multi-media. Anyway enough of my ramblings I'll let the ministry say it in their own words.

Name: The Ministry of Progress

Twitter: theminofprog

Where did the Ministry of Progress come from?

The Ministry came about from our disaffection of the situation which we found ourselves in during our studies in Falmouth. It quickly became apparent that the four of us felt very differently about things than most other people we were meeting at the time.

Funnily enough, the genesis of our involvement (and the name itself) was dreamt up in a Cornish alehouse on one of our regular escapes to Truro. Whilst sitting around a barrel drinking pints, we simply decided to do something which would mark ourselves out and celebrate our difference.

The name was initially a joke. We were talking about the Ministries in 1984, and laughed about creating our own in the name of progress.

What are the aims of the Ministry?

One the dismissal of sentimentality in the art production process.

Two the advocacy of democratic art consumption.

Three producing work that is a product of its time.

Four the acknowledgement of shameless self-promotion.

Five Progress.

What have you been doing?

Well… we haven’t been living in squats, living off mummy and daddy or pawning ourselves out in internships for no pay and meagre prospects. We’ve been working full days and making work nocturnally. Basically, we live in the real world, showing our work and building our brand.

We put on a show in March in Jemma’s house. The walls are white and the rooms large, so we shipped out the furniture and converted it into a gallery for the weekend and we called it In House.

Recently, we participated in a pop-up art market with The Outside World gallery. That was called Progress For Sale and saw us making live promotional material. We like what we do to be quite tongue-in-cheek and fun.

What are your inspirations? influences?

There was no direct inspiration or influence that oversaw the creation of The Ministry, or anything that it has subsequently done.

The Ministry is essentially a public face for four artists working individually. In that sense, we have our own artistic influences; some are shared, some are not. Our differences fuel us just as much as our similarities do.

We always do what we want and what we want to do is to operate on our own terms. People have an assumption that to become a successful artist you need to win prizes, compete for residencies and have a collector buy your entire graduate show. Part of what drives us the rejection of all of these as irrelevant and proving that we can establish ourselves under our own steam.

What are your plans for the future?

In the immediate future, we have an event planned which we deem “Work in Progress”. In conjunction with the east-London collective CLINIC (as well as a few invited guests), we are embarking on a project which will see us conceive, produce and hang a show in 7 days. This will culminate in an evening of art and performance on Saturday June 5th

Has the ministry been successful in its mission?

We wanted to approach the idea of an art collective as a business. To achieve this, we set ourselves the goal to make The Ministry a functioning brand which would deliver our message to the world.

We are:

Todd Atticus

Harriet Bridgwater

Jemma Skidmore

James Thurgood

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