Artist Albert Potrony has been commissioned to produce a new work exploring Gasworks’ intergenerational Peer Group. The commission creates insight into the familiarity and intimacy experienced between Peer Group members, and moments of critical enquiry from those outside the group as they attempt to understand the sense of connection and logic that exists between members.
Selecting images from the digital archive of over three years of Peer Group sessions Potrony created a collection of playing cards for a game with no rules, ensuring that at each sitting a constantly changing game evolved. Played over several sessions with Peer Group members and Gasworks’ staff the playing cards, and each new iteration of how they were played with, initiated conversations about the challenges involved in describing what the Peer Group is, and what long-term membership of the group means for its members.
The final work comprises of edited sound and film footage from each sitting of the game. While not directly depicting specific shared moments between Peer Group members, the work begins to decode the sense of coherency that has developed within the group. Playful instances where members are at ease in each other’s company are combined with more critical moments of reflection that question where the group sits within the wider context of visual practice.
Mysterious Language begins to unpick how those outside the group might gain insight into an evolving model of durational practice that has generated its own shared language and short hand implicitly understood by its members. As the title suggests, much about the Peer Group remains mysterious despite the deep sense of openness, informality and understanding that exists between those within it.
This commission forms part of Talk is Cheap, the research strand of Gasworks’ long running Even Better Together programme. Through research projects, commissions, residencies and specially convened conversations, Talk is Cheap is a space within the programme for critical reflection and practice-based research into Gasworks’ participatory programming.
Gasworks’ intergenerational Peer Group is composed of local families, residents living in nearby estates, emerging artists and Even Better Together project partner colleagues. Coming together to work collaboratively the group develops various projects, events and interventions. Facilitated by Gasworks' Participation Programme and artist Albert Potrony, the Peer Group explores various approaches to working within the local neighbourhood. Working together in this way aims to test and investigate notions of shared authorship and collaboration as members develop long-term projects.